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The Best Decking Systems for a Clean, Attractive Surface

Posted by on Apr 25, 2017 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on The Best Decking Systems for a Clean, Attractive Surface

If you want to add outdoor living space to your home, you probably want to have something that is more attractive than common, treated lumber and nails or screws. Today, you have a choice of many different decking materials and fastening systems to give your outdoor space a clean surface. Here are some of the choices for the best decking systems to use for creating outdoor living space for your home: 1. Hardwoods and Plugs to Cover Conventional Screw Fastening If you want to have a real wood surface for your outdoor living space, hardwood materials are a good choice. You may want to use tropical lumber or domestic hardwood with screws to prevent the boards from warping. When you use screws, you will want to use a counter sinking bit which allows that screw head to be below the surface. The top of the screw can be covered with wood plugs to hide it, but you will want to sand the surface of the deck after all the screws have been installed. 2. Specially Milled Lumbers With Hidden Fastener Systems for Clean Surfaces In addition to conventional hardwood decking materials, there are also many wood products that are especially milled for hidden fastener systems. These decking boards have grooves on the bottom to prevent checking, as well as a groove along the edges for special fasteners to be screwed to the joists. If you are planning on using real wood decking, the hidden fasteners will ensure that you deck is free of visible plugs. These systems are similar to jointing biscuits, but the grooves are already made to make installation easier. 3. Vinyl, Composites and Synthetic Lumber Materials with Different Fastening Options   Synthetic decking materials are a good choice for outdoor uses because they are durable and give you a clean surface. Vinyl materials are available, which also include dry systems that keep the area beneath your deck dry. Composites are another good material because they are affordable and come in styles that look like some of the most popular lumber materials. Synthetic decking materials also give you many options for fastening them, such as using glue, conventional screws or hidden fasteners. If you glue synthetic decking, make sure the structure has permanent structural bracing. These are some of the best choices that you have for decking materials and fastening systems to finish your new outdoor space. Contact a synthetic decking supplier like Martin Lumber & Hardware – True Value to get the most attractive materials to complete your outdoor living...

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What To Know About Getting A Rain Barrel

Posted by on Apr 25, 2017 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on What To Know About Getting A Rain Barrel

If you’d like a free source of water for your lawn and plants, then consider installing a barrel to collect the rain. The best way to do that is to have the barrel connected to your gutter system so it collects all the water from your roof. You won’t be able to drink or bathe with the water, but you can use it to keep your flowers watered and to wash off lawn equipment. Here’s some more information about putting in a rain barrel. Choosing The Barrel You can buy decorative barrels made for the purpose of collecting rain that look attractive on your property, or you can save some money and buy an old barrel used to store food. If you buy a used barrel, be sure to get one made of food grade materials and that held food and not industrial chemicals. If the barrel doesn’t have a top, you’ll need to fit a piece of screen on the top to keep out leaves and animals. If the barrel has a top, the top needs a hole in it to attach to your gutter system. Barrels made specifically to collect rain usually have a top with a hole in it as well as a spigot on the bottom for draining out the water. Installing Your Rain Barrel You can place a rain barrel anywhere in your yard, but it takes much longer to fill up it if isn’t connected to the roof of your house. The ideal setup is to attach the barrel to the downspout of your gutter system. This may require cutting and repositioning the downspout, so you may need to call a contractor to do this for you. You can also buy a flexible attachment hose that makes it easier to make the connection from the metal downspout to the hole in the rain barrel. If your house doesn’t have gutters, you can still collect rain from the roof by placing the barrel directly under a valley where rain normally runs off. You may need to leave the lid off and let the water fall through a screen if you use this method. Your roof collects a lot of water during a typical rain. You might be able to fill an entire barrel in a single rainy day. If you have a need for a lot of water, you can have the contractor attach multiple barrels together so the overflow is saved rather than spilling into your yard. Using The Water If your barrel doesn’t have a spigot and you don’t know how to put one in yourself, you can dip the water out of the barrel with a watering can to water your flowers. However, it is much more convenient to have a spigot located near the bottom of the barrel. You can attach a soaker hose and let the system automatically water your plants when you open the spigot. You can also attach a short hose to the spigot for filling a watering can and for hosing off outdoor equipment. Since the water comes off your roof, you don’t want to use it for drinking or other personal purposes. However, it is safe to use for watering your lawn and plants. Even if it has some leaf debris from the roof, the...

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Benefits Of A Steel Roof

Posted by on Apr 25, 2017 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Benefits Of A Steel Roof

There are many different ways that you can roof your house. You can choose a few different pitch types, and there are multiple styles of roofs. You are also going to be able to pick the material that you are going to use for your roof. There are many different materials, and each one does have benefits, but if you have not thought about a steel roof, it is time to look again at steel roofing. This article is going to go over a few of the benefits that installing a steel roof will give you.  Longevity One of the biggest advantages of having a metal roof installed in your home is the fact that it has such a long lifespan. If you choose something like traditional asphalt shingles, you may have to re-shingle your roof after 20 years. Twenty years is obviously not too bad, but consider that the lifespan of a steel roof is approximately 50 or more years. This is pretty outstanding when you consider that is the lifespan of some people. So you can install a steel roof and pretty much forget about the roof. That does not mean that you do not need to perform basic maintenance, but it will last a very long time if taken care of properly. Quick Installation The sheets of metal that are used for a steel roof are relatively big and can be installed fairly quickly. The reason that this is a benefit is that your labour bill will be much less. The material itself is not cheap, but you can expect the labour bill to be much smaller. Also, the benefit of having quick installation goes far beyond price. If anything happens to your home (say a hurricane goes through and is ripping roofs off of people home), even if trees are falling on homes, having a metal roof is an advantage because you will be able to have your roof installed very quickly. Water Proof Steel roofing is one of the most water proof substances that are available, and water has very little friction when running off of your roof. So it is a very good roof to have if you are in a rainy area. With a metal roof, you will want to inspect the roof about every single season to ensure that there is no areas where water an pool. if water is pooling up on your roof, it can cause a lot of damage. So, just inspect your roof about 4 times a...

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Tips For Creating Your Own Fire Pit

Posted by on Apr 12, 2017 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tips For Creating Your Own Fire Pit

If you have always wanted a fire pit in your own yard, but do not want to spend a lot of money on one, you can always create your own. Take a moment to review the following tips so you will be able to create the best possible fire pit for all of your needs. Clear A Space Slightly Larger Than The Pit No matter how big or small you want your fire pit to be, you will want to clear out that amount of space, plus an additional one foot all of the way around the perimeter. This way, should a stick or log fall out of the fire pit while still on fire, it will land in the extra amount of cleared space instead of on your grass. Surround the exterior of the fire pit with sand or gravel so no damage will be done should something fall over the side of the fire pit. Use Sturdy Materials For The Wall You will need a wall around the circumference of the fire pit. This way, everything that you are burning in the pit will be contained much easier. You can use small red bricks or concrete blocks. Just make sure that you are overlapping the stones when you place each new level, as this will help ensure that the walls of the fire pit are not going to simply fall over. Also, you may want to refrain from making the walls of the fire pit too high. The lower the walls, the easier it will be for you to maintain the fire, as well as enjoy it. You can get more warmth from it or roast marshmallows if the walls of the fire pit are not too large. Make It Easy To Clean It is important to make sure that the fire pit is easily cleaned out with a shovel. To do this, you will want to have the top of the pit wide enough so you can push a shovel through it a couple of times. This will allow you to clean up the old debris that is leftover from old fires. While you may not need to do this after every fire, you may need to do is occasionally so you will not have to worry about old debris staking up in your fire pit. You can create your own design or follow a pattern that you find online. As long as you are considering the previously mentioned tips, you will have an excellent fire pit before you know it. Contact a local company, like Alpine Fireplaces or a similar business, for more tips and...

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Two Replacement Window Questions Homeowners Must Know

Posted by on Apr 12, 2017 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Two Replacement Window Questions Homeowners Must Know

Choosing to change your home’s windows is a task that will require a number of important decisions and a major investment. Yet, there are few upgrades that will be able to provide more noticeable or efficient benefits to your house. Ensuring this project is a success will require you to have some of the more basic but important information regarding these upgrades. What Type Of Material Should You Choose For The Frame? The frame for a window will be important for both structural and cosmetic reasons. However, there are many different materials that can be chosen for these frames, and you may not know the benefits or disadvantages of the more common options. Vinyl is easily one of the more commonly used options for replacement windows due to its low cost and limited maintenance needs. Due to vinyl not being at risk of developing rot, its maintenance will typically be limited to inspecting it for signs of cracks or other serious damage and cleaning it. While it is possible to have vinyl stamped and colored to resemble natural materials, this may be a poor substitute for real wood. Luckily, it is possible to enjoy the durability and affordability of vinyl windows without having to settle for the look of artificial wood. This is possible through the use of wood-clad vinyl window frames. With this type of window frame, vinyl will be used for the structurally significant portions of the frame, but the exterior will have panels of natural wood. Caring for this type of window will be slightly more intensive due to the need to clean and seal the wood panels. Does The Type Of Glass That Is Used In Your New Windows Matter? In addition to being thoughtful when it comes to choosing the type of frame that your new windows will use, it is also necessary to make good choices when it comes to the type of glass that will be used in the windows. While traditional glass may be the cheapest option, it can be energy inefficient and prone to suffering damage. Rather than opting for basic glass, you might want to utilize dual-paned and shatter-resistant glass for your windows. Energy-efficient glass is often made to be thicker than traditional glass, and windows that use it will often be dual paned. This is so that an insulating gas can be used to keep heat from exchanging between the two panes. If you plan on continuing to live in the home for many years, the expenses caused by opting for this type of glass will be countered by the energy savings that can be...

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How To Make Those Paint Fumes Go Away

Posted by on Apr 3, 2017 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Make Those Paint Fumes Go Away

Despite companies working toward making house paints that emit less fumes, chances are you’re going to have an odor in your house after you repaint. Companies have shied away from using oil-based paint inside for a while now, which has definitely reduced the odor that you have to deal with. Still, if you don’t want even a mild paint smell, you don’t have to simply deal with it and do your best to ignore it. Look at these ways to reduce paint smell and see which might work best for you. Opening Windows Telling someone to open their windows sounds like a request for every sarcastic comment possible to be thrown at you, but it’s one of the major ways to let paint fumes dissipate. No matter what other tactics you use to get rid of the paint fumes, open your windows when you’re at home and awake. If it’s very cold out or raining, you can still open them a crack. Lemon Juice, Water, Salt, and Vinegar Combining another scented item and water can mask the smell of paint. There are claims that these combinations will also absorb the volatile organic compounds in paint that create the odor, but those are anecdotal. Placing lemon slices and salt in water is one combination; white vinegar and water is another. Change the water mixture daily. Another option is to simmer water with lemon slices, creating a potpourri-type effect. The heat will help release the scent of the lemon. The drawbacks are that this can be done only when you have time to monitor the stove so the water doesn’t evaporate away, and it consumes power. Supposedly, using a plain bucket of water placed in the center of the room, changed daily, can also help. This is one that is easy to try, and if it doesn’t work, you haven’t really wasted much time putting a special preparation together. Stovetop Potpourri You can go one step further with the simmering-lemon trick and create scented potpourri mixes with apple slices, cinnamon sticks, orange slices, and more. These can be quite strong, but again, use these only when you can monitor the pan on the stove. An Onion Bob Vila advises chopping an onion in half and leaving it for a while, with each half at opposite ends of the room. On one hand, this will cover up the paint smell with an onion smell that, while not everyone’s favorite, is likely less nausea-inducing than the paint smell. It’s also supposed to absorb the fumes rather quickly. By the way, all of the food and water items used here should not be eaten or drunk after you’re done using them. Throw away or compost the lemons, vinegar, and other items. (If you can’t bear to throw away food, you’re going to have to get over that.) You should also talk to your painters, people from a place like J Maintenance Co, about any tips and tricks they might...

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How To Replace Worn Bottom Rollers On A Garage Door

Posted by on Mar 28, 2017 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Replace Worn Bottom Rollers On A Garage Door

If your garage door is noisy or opens and closes roughly, it is likely the rollers are bad. Garage door rollers, particularly those made from nylon, wear out after a few years of usage. The middle and top rollers are simple to replace, since you simply need to detach the hinges to which they are attached. However, the bottom rollers can be a bit trickier to replace, since they must be pulled free from their brackets. Below is a step-by-step guide to replacing worn-out bottom garage door rollers. Tools and Materials You Will Need Pair of replacement garage door rollers 2 locking pliers ½-inch steel bar or section of rebar, approximately 1 to 2 feet in length Ball peen hammer Long-handled flat blade screwdriver or pry bar Stepladder Step-by-Step Procedure for Replacement 1. Work with Safety as Your First Priority Garage door work can be dangerous if you approach it with a cavalier or reckless attitude. The job of replacing worn rollers is safe, if you take a few safety precautions and work with vigilance and caution. One of the main hazards of working with a garage door is unexpected movement of the door. That is why the first step is unplugging the opener and disconnecting the door’s opener arm from the opener mechanism. The opener plugs into a nearby outlet, and you will probably need to use a stepladder to access it. The garage door opener arm is attached to the opener trolley via a removable pin, so pull the pin and un-link the two components. Be sure to set the pin aside in a safe location where it won’t be lost. 2. Spread the tracks slightly To access the bottom door rollers, you will need to lift the door completely and bend the tracks slightly to pull the rollers free. Manually raise the door all the way, taking care not to pinch your fingers in the joints between sections. Next, use a pair of locking pliers to grasp the front of the tracks approximately 2 feet above ground level, then firmly pull the front of the tracks forward to spread the gaps between the rail edges. Be sure not to bend the tracks completely out of position; all you need to do is create about an additional half inch of clearance for the rollers. 3. Position the door and lock it into position Once you have spread the tracks, lower the door until the bottom rollers are aligned with the area that has been spread. Next, lock the door to the track by clamping one pair of locking pliers to the track above an adjacent roller and attaching the other locking pliers to the track immediately beneath the roller. 4. Pry the door from the tracks and replace the rollers After the door is locked in place, use a long screwdriver or pry bar to pry the bottom of the garage door toward you, while standing on the inside of the garage, until the roller and its assembly pops out of the track. Grasp the end of the roller and pull it from the bracket; replace it by inserting a new roller. Repeat this step on the other side of the door to replace the opposite bottom roller. 5. Reinsert the rollers into the tracks Finish the...

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Why Building Your Own Home May Be The Better Option

Posted by on Mar 11, 2017 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Why Building Your Own Home May Be The Better Option

Instead of shopping around to see if there are any existing homes that can suit your personal needs, you might want to consider having your own custom home built. There are many benefits to this and by learning about them, you will be able to determine if this is indeed the best course of action for you to take. Everything Will Last Longer Even if you are purchasing a home that has a home warranty included in the sale, simply dealing with the inconvenience of things breaking can be a nuisance that you just do not want to deal with. However, with a newly built custom home, such issues are things that you are not going to have to worry about any time in the near future. This is because everything from the floor joists to the bathroom faucet will be brand new. You and your family will be the first people to use anything in the home.  You Do Not Have To Settle It can be a rare occurrence to find an already built home that is absolutely everything that you want from floor to ceiling. In most cases, some sacrifices have to be made in one area or the next. When you take the time to design your own custom home to be built, you will know that every room is the perfect size, you will have all of the best closet space, and your kitchen will be designed with your culinary preferences in mind. If you have any questions over how a certain aspect of your custom home design should be handled, you can always consult with your home design expert or architect that you have hired for additional assistance, like those at Kavin Construction or a similar location. Improved Value Right from the beginning, a custom built home usually holds more value than surrounding homes. This is not only because it is brand new, but because it is a custom design. It is not like some of the other cookie-cutter home designs that can be found in many neighborhoods. Even if you are not interested in selling your new home any time in the near future, it is at least nice to know that should you find that you have to, there will be a sufficient amount of value there. All you have to do is to find the perfect piece of land and the best crew for the building of your home. You will be in your new custom home before you know...

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Sump Pump 101: 3 Telltale Signs You Need A New One

Posted by on Mar 11, 2017 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Sump Pump 101: 3 Telltale Signs You Need A New One

A sump pump is a necessity for many homeowners. After all, a sump pump is designed to pump away excess water so that your basement doesn’t become flooded. If you are like most people, you probably don’t give your sump pump much thought. At least, that is until it stops working properly. Luckily, you can identify any issues with your sump pump fairly easily if you just know what to look for. So what are some signs that your sump pump is failing? Here are three telltale signs: 1. It’s Loud A sump pump should not be very loud when it’s working properly. While you might hear some noise coming from the machine, it shouldn’t be loud. Most sump pumps make a quiet humming sound while operating, but that’s it. If your sump pump begins to emit loud or odd noises, chances are good that it has an issue. Loud noises could be a sign that your machine has a burnt bearing. If you hear a rattling noise, your sump pump may have a loose part or something jammed inside. Regardless, if your machine is making loud or odd noises you should have it examined. 2. Rust Another sign that your sump pump is in distress is rust. A sump pump in good working order should be clean without any visible signs of rust or discoloration. If you notice that your system is beginning to rust, it could be caused by corrosion from the battery. It could also be caused by standing water. In other cases, what appears to be rust might simply be iron bacteria that has formed due to high levels of iron in the water it pumps. While not as serious as rust, iron bacteria can cause issues with your sump pump – most commonly a clog. 3. Excessive Vibrating Finally, excessive or constant vibrating is another sign that your sump pump is failing. When working properly, your sump pump shouldn’t vibrate at all. If it is vibrating, chances are good that there is an issue within the mechanics of your sump pump. It could be caused by loose objects inside the machine. It could also be caused by imbalanced impellers, which are what rotate to suck in the water. Regardless, vibrating isn’t a good sign and should be looked at immediately. As you can see, there are several signs that your sump pump is about to fail. Luckily, you can easily identify when your sump pump is failing by paying attention to the signs it gives you. If you do notice any of these signs, contact a sump pump installation professional immediately, as you will likely need to have a new one installed quickly to prevent basement...

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3 Reasons Iron Makes An Ideal Material Choice For Balcony Railing On Your Home

Posted by on Mar 7, 2017 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Reasons Iron Makes An Ideal Material Choice For Balcony Railing On Your Home

Having a balcony on your home means you get to enjoy the best of the view in a safe, enclosed area jutting from an upper level of your home. If you are in the process of implementing a new balcony or just revamping the balcony you already have, choosing the railing that encloses it will be part of the process. While many homeowners go with glass balcony railing for an open and modern look or even wooden railing for traditional appeal, iron balcony railing is perhaps one of the most logical choices. Here is a look at the reasons why iron is a good material choice for the balcony railing.  Iron balcony railing offers strong support and safety.  When iron balcony railing is installed, it is anchored in place with long anchor bolts and has to have a superior support system in place because of the hefty weight of the material. This anchored installation means that there will be no concerns of these rails giving way with too much pressure. You can lean against or push against iron balcony railing without concern of it faltering, which means it is a very safe option to go with.  Iron balcony railing is durable enough for the long term. Have you ever noticed old and antiquated houses with iron fencing surrounding the property? This iron fencing could have potentially been in place for decades simply because it has such a long life span. Iron railing is incredibly resilient to moisture, wind, and other elements that come along with being outdoors. Therefore, concerns of the railing deteriorating after installation on your balcony are non-existent. Occasionally, you may have to have the iron balcony railing refinished, but even this is a task that will probably not happen very often.  Iron balcony railing is an attractive exterior feature.  One of the greatest things about iron is the fact that it is a metal that can be formed and altered with heat by an iron worker to achieve an array of fantastic designs. You can get iron balcony railing in the traditional form, with bars and slats, or you could go all out and design your own iron railing with detailed features. For example, you can get iron railing for your balcony that looks like the twisted branches of a tree or is filled with intricate swirls and shapes. This versatility makes it easy to create a balcony that perfectly coincides with the exterior design of your home.  To learn more, contact a company like Anvil Iron Works,...

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