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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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Create A Statement Wall In Your Home With Salvaged Wood Flooring

Posted by on Mar 2, 2017 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Create A Statement Wall In Your Home With Salvaged Wood Flooring

When you are remodeling a home, there will be parts of the home that may be able to be salvaged. There are many times when older homes have hardwood floor that has been damaged, but some pieces are still in good condition. When this happens, consider using the flooring that is in good condition to make a statement wall in the home. The guide below walks you through the process of creating a statement wall in your home using salvaged pieces of flooring from the home. Determine How Much Wood Can Be Salvaged The first thing you will need to do is talk to the contractors about how much wood can be salvaged. You need to know how much wood is available to you to determine if you can do an entire wall with the wood or if you will have to settle for only covering half of the wall. The contractors will be able to let you know exactly how many feet of wood are available to you so that you can make an informed choice about how you want the wall to be decorated. Consider the Pattern You Want Created on the Wall Next, you need to decide what pattern you want created when using the wood planks. You can simply have them installed in a vertical or horizontal pattern, or create a more unique herringbone pattern. The contractors will need to know what pattern you want before they start cutting the boards to ensure that they have boards that are long enough to create the look you want.  Let Professionals Handle the Installation When you are creating a statement wall in your home, you want to be sure that it looks as perfect as it can. If you try to install the flooring onto the wall yourself, it will be very noticeable if you make any mistakes. The contractors have the experience when it comes to measuring, cutting, and installing the planks so allow them to take care of the hard work for you. Once the flooring is installed on the wall, you need to protect it with a sealer to ensure that the wood stays looking as great as possible for as long as possible. Again, the professionals should be left with the sealing projects because you do not want sealer to drip all over your floors and create a huge mess. Also, you do not want to put on too much sealer and have it seep behind the boards and cause damage to the walls. For more information, contact companies like N.Z. Cramer & Son Inc | Building...

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Tips for Inspecting Your AC Unit Before Spring

Posted by on Feb 3, 2017 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tips for Inspecting Your AC Unit Before Spring

If you are looking forward to the end of winter, then you may already be looking at your air conditioner and thinking about what needs to be done to get the appliance up and running. This should be a concern of yours if the unit has been subjected to snow, ice, wind, and rain for the last several months. If you want a jumpstart on the warm season, then keep reading to learn about a few things you should do. Inspect the Control Box Central air conditioning systems are electronic appliances that require you to plug in the device for power. The power service is wired to an outdoor control box or panel, and this unit contains the electrical plug as well as the circuit breaker for the condenser unit. While most control boxes and electrical panels have a cover that screws into place, the screw and the cover can come loose. If this happens, the electrical components can become wet. This can cause a short and a dangerous electrical situation. Typically, the circuit breaker will trip if you try to turn on the AC unit when the outlet or the wiring is wet. You can test the unit to see if this happens. If the unit start up fine and runs, then replace the cover. If the breaker trips, then flip the switch on the outside of the control box. This is the compressor service switch. It cuts off the electricity to the air conditioner so a technician can safely assess the appliance.  Your air conditioner will typically have a separate control panel or control board on the compressor itself. This part of the system contains the electrical wiring, sensors, safety shutoffs, and contractor relay for the unit. It also contains the electrical wiring for he exhaust fan. You can and should check this part of the system as well, especially if a portion of the AC casing has been damaged in any way. Inspect the Tubing & the Fins Snow and ice can place a great deal of stress on an outdoor air conditioning unit. This means you can and should inspect the exposed parts of the unit carefully. One part of the system that is likely to become damaged is the insulation on the pipe that feeds the coolant back into the compressor. While the insulation does stop the pipe from becoming damaged from ice and snow, it also helps to keep the coolant at a consistent temperature. This allows the coolant to release heat as it moves through the coil of the system. If it releases heat too soon, then this can disrupt the pressure of the coolant and keep your unit from working correctly. If you notice insulation that is damaged, then replace it immediately. A replacement should also be made if the pipe itself is damaged. When you complete this inspection, make sure to take a look at the fins that line the outside of the unit. They can bend over time as they are exposed to adverse weather conditions. Bent fins can sometimes be bent back into place, but do so carefully. Some fins make break off due to weather exposure and also due to the corrosion of the aluminum. If too many fins break off, then the entire coil of the system may need to be replaced....

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The Hazards of Crawl-Space Mold and How to Keep Your Crawl Space Mold Free

Posted by on Oct 10, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on The Hazards of Crawl-Space Mold and How to Keep Your Crawl Space Mold Free

You likely know that mold in your home can be hazardous to your family’s health, but you may not think of your home’s crawl space as a true part of your home and realize that mold inside of it is also hazardous to your health. Read on to learn how mold in your crawl space can affect your family’s health and how a crawl-space repair professional can get rid of the mold and keep it from coming back.  Why Crawl-Space Mold Is a Health Hazard Of course, you can likely understand how crawl-space mold would affect your health if you were in your crawl space frequently, but you may not realize that mold in the crawl space is hazardous to your family even if no one in your family ever enters your crawl space. While the wood and other building materials that lie between your crawl space and the first floor of your home keep this mold out of site, these materials don’t keep the tiny mold spores from entering your home due to the stack effect.  You have likely heard of the stack effect through the common saying that “heat rises.” The air in the crawl space can be much warmer than the air in your home, especially in the summer when you have the air-conditioning system running. When your crawl space is not properly sealed off from the rest of your home, not only does this warm air seep through your flooring, but the tiny mold spores in the air come up as well. How Professionals Combat Crawl-Space Mold and Prevent Its Return Now that you know why a mold-filled crawl space is such a health hazard, read on to learn how a crawl-space repair specialist can rid your crawl space of mold and keep it from every returning.  Step 1: Mold Removal  The first step to a mold-free crawl space is the removal of current mold. This is a hazardous job, so it is important not to try it yourself unless you are trained in mold removal and own the right protective equipment to wear to protect your health during the process.  While every professional has their own specific technique that they have perfected over years of practice, the general steps of crawl-space mold removal include the following things. 1. Setting up a temporary ventilation system to protect their health. Your technician may set up a few fans to blow fresh air into the crawl space to protect them during the job and lay a plastic tarp on the ground to catch the mold that falls as they work.  2. Applying a chemical mold remover and then scraping the mold off. The chemical mold remover kills the mold to make it slightly less hazardous and loosens it to allow it to be scraped off more easily.  3. Surface-blasting more severe mold infestations. In most occupied homes, the mold accumulation is light enough that it can simply be scraped off. However, if there is more mold accumulation than typical, a surface blaster may have to be used to remove tough mold stuck in all nooks and crannies of a crawl space.  Step 2: Crawl-Space Waterproofing or Encapsulation As you may know, mold flourishes in moist environments, so the key to keeping a crawl space mold free is...

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Glass Coffee Tables: 4 Options For Homes With Children

Posted by on Aug 5, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Glass Coffee Tables: 4 Options For Homes With Children

Children and glass are typically not a good combination. Glass can often shatter easily and cause potential safety hazards for children. However, just because you have children doesn’t mean you need to limit the glass in your home. If you love the idea of a glass coffee table, then you can still enjoy one in your home. By collaborating with custom glass contractors, you can have a glass coffee table created that provides the most safety options for children in the home. When the custom creation is done being created, you can add it to your living room and enjoy a worry-free time when children are around. Radius Corner Finishes Sheets of glass will typically come with sharp corners. These corners can present many dangerous hazards to children. As you plan out a custom coffee table design, it’s important to focus on the corner finishing. Custom glass companies can finish off corners in a number of ways to help remove the sharp edges. One of the best options for children is a radius corner finish. In this finish, the glass is sanded down to create a smooth and rounded corner. This means that when a child runs into the table corner, they won’t hit a hard and sharpened corner. Pencil Polished Edges Along with the corners of the glass, it’s also important to consider the edges on each side. When left untreated, these edges can be sharp and feature small glass fragments. As you plan out your custom glass order, consider adding pencil polished edges all around the glass. Instead of flat and sharp, these edges are rounded off to create a smooth design that flows evenly with the rest of the glass. Much like the radius corner finish, children can bump off the edge of the glass without getting seriously hurt or cut. Tempered Glass When creating a glass coffee table in your home, you want to have a glass that is strong and durable. The glass needs to withstand years of playing and horsing around from children. One of the best glass materials to choose from is tempered glass. Also referred to as toughened glass, the material has multiple treatments applied to it so that it is strong and long-lasting. Another big advantage is the way that tempered glass breaks. If an accident does occur where the glass breaks, it will shatter into small and dull pieces. This is a drastic difference from the sharp cracks and shatters that can occur when traditional glass breaks. Tempered glass is not only strong, but it can be purchased in a number of different finishes. For example, you can add a tint to the glass or have a pattern etched into the glass design. Choose a glass product that matches the other decor in your living room. Glass Thickness The tempered glass material may not be enough to keep children from smashing the table. Add more safety and security to your coffee table area by choosing a thick piece of glass to add durability and protection. The thicker glass is ideal for children that eat snacks, play games, or build puzzles on the coffee table. It can give your table a lot of durability and prevent a child from cracking it. Glass companies offer different thicknesses for various products. A...

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Creating An Ideal Environment For Your Baby: 3 Plumbing Tips To Implement In The Bathroom

Posted by on Jul 12, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Creating An Ideal Environment For Your Baby: 3 Plumbing Tips To Implement In The Bathroom

If you’re an expecting parent, there’s a good chance that you’ve already scoured through your home to remove any hazards that may potentially harm your baby. Most expecting parents only check the bathrooms to see whether they are clean enough, but fail to recognize that they also need to inspect and examine the plumbing there. If you have the time, you should get a plumber to make a quick inspection to determine whether everything is safe. Here are 3 things in particular that you should do. Adjust the Hot Water Heater You’d be surprised at just how easily babies can scald, especially since their skin is very sensitive. You don’t want to run the risk of accidentally scalding your baby because of an overactive hot water heater. Ideally, you should make sure that the hot water heater is set no higher than 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Even at this temperature, adults can get scalded by the water if they are exposed to it for over 5 minutes. Still, this should give you plenty of time to react if the water is too hot for your baby. The hot water heater settings can be adjusted via the thermostat found near the central hot water tank. If you’re having a trouble finding the device, get the plumber to do the job for you. At the very least, you’ll know that the hot water heater has been set correctly. Although you might be tempted to set the maximum temperature even lower, don’t. The hot water heater needs to be able to operate at those temperatures in order to prevent bacterial growth within its tanks. Install a Water Filter on All Taps and Faucets On top of being sensitive to the temperature of water, babies are also relatively sensitive to the contents within the water. While tap water generally is rather safe since it has already gone through several filtration steps, tap water in your home may have traces of bacterial growth or other contaminants and pollutants. These contaminants may be from a deteriorating plumbing structure within your home or may be caused by leaks somewhere in the system. While all tap water from the public water system in the U.S. is generally free from any type of infectious bacteria, it’s better to be safe than sorry by having a plumber install either a central water filter or a water filter for every tap and faucet in your house. Make sure that the water filter can remove all types of contaminants and pollutants. The water filters could prevent your healthy baby from infections that most commonly target the digestive tracts. If your baby is already immunocompromised, the water filter will play a much more essential role to their well being. Have the Pipes Inspected Lead pipes will leak toxins into the water. Surprisingly, some major U.S. cities still rely on 100% lead pipes in their plumbing system. Before you bring your baby home, get the pipes inspected by a plumber. If your house still relies on lead pipes, it might be time to consider replacing the pipes with new alternatives even if the lead pipes are in good condition. It’s just best not to risk it. You’ll need to speak to a plumber to determine which alternatives are best suited for the architectural styling...

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4 Uses For Garden Window Installations In A Child’s Bedroom

Posted by on May 20, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Uses For Garden Window Installations In A Child’s Bedroom

A garden window is typically installed in the kitchen of a home. It provides an ideal way to grow flowers or small edible plants like herbs by featuring an extended shelf and natural sunlight pouring in through multiple sections of window panels. Another location where you can get a lot of use out of a garden window is a child’s bedroom. As children grow older, a garden window can provide a number of uses and create a useful part of their bedroom experience. Instead of simply placing plants inside of the window, the extended window area has four fun uses inside of a child’s bedroom. Browse through each of these ideas and see the benefits of having a garden window installed in your child’s room. Solar Charging Stations It seems like children these days are constantly using all types of portable devices. Help keep tablets, hand-held video game systems, and MP3 players at full capacity by using a garden window as a solar charging station. Small solar panels with USB charging ports can be placed in the window. Instead of using up all of the outlets in the room, the solar panels can create an organized area that makes it easy to lay out the devices and get them fully charged. Not only will your children have an easy place to charge devices, but you can help teach them about renewable energy like solar panels. The use of this area can help reduce your electricity consumption and help encourage a future where alternative energy options are sought out. Fairy Gardens If you’re still looking to use the garden window in a more traditional sense, then you can make it more kid-friendly with the installation of a fairy garden. These gardens often feature miniature furniture and designs that are small enough for fairy use. The space provided in a garden window can allow you and your child to design a larger fairy garden with multiple features and designs. If the garden window has multiple shelves, then you can design multiple sections of the fairy garden. For example, the top shelf can be the living area for the fairies while the bottom area provides recreational fairy designs or extra fairy areas like small stores. The installation of a fairy garden can help your child maintain the area on a daily basis and easily interact with it using small toys. The area can even be used for special occasions like a visit from a tooth fairy or a visit from a leprechaun during St. Patrick’s Day. Reading Areas A garden window installation can create a relaxing and private area for your child. With natural light coming in from all sides of the window, it is an ideal reading area in the home. By providing your child with a nice reading chair, the window area can provide extra light and a nice way to store books inside of the window storage shelf. Along with a reading area, the increased natural light can also help create an ideal homework area for your child. There are many advantages to studying and completing work with the natural light. It can help increase both focus and overall test scores. By setting up the area, you can give your child a place to study and thrive. Holiday Decoration...

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4 Steps For Preparing Your Furnace For Winter

Posted by on Apr 20, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Steps For Preparing Your Furnace For Winter

Like any appliance, your furnace will often require a tune-up after extended disuse during the summer months. Taking the right steps to prepare your furnace for winter will help you avoid unexpected breakdowns, reduced efficiency, and even fire hazards. Here are three things you should do before you use your furnace the first time this winter. Replace or Clean the Furnace Filter Proper airflow is important to keep your furnace running efficiently. If your furnace filter is dirty, it will block airflow, and it will also be less effective at removing contaminants from the air that is circulated through your home. Depending on the type of furnace filter that you have, you should clean or replace it before you begin using your furnace in the winter. If you are using replaceable furnace filters, you may want to consider stocking up on them during the summer months. This allow you to change your filter each month without venturing out into the cold to buy a new one, and you may be able to find them for a cheaper price if you purchase during the off-season for home heating. Inspect the Blower Belt Inside your furnace is a rubber belt that turns the blower motor to circulate air throughout your home. A damaged belt can snap while your furnace is running, causing it to break down and possibly damaging the moving parts inside the unit. It is a good idea to examine the blower belt before you use the furnace for the first time to avoid this problem. To examine the blower belt, first shut off the breaker to your furnace. The blower belt can typically be found behind an access panel on the side of the furnace that either slides off or is held on by screws. After removing the panel, you should see a large rubber belt that is attached to a pulley on the blower motor. If you see cracks or fraying in the belt, remove it and take it to a local HVAC supply store to find an identical belt to replace it with. Inspect Your Furnace Flue Your furnace exhaust flue is responsible for removing harmful fumes from your home that are produced by your furnace. Holes in the furnace flue are very dangerous because they can allow gases such as carbon monoxide to escape into your home. You can patch small holes in the flue with foil tape, but large holes like those often caused by corrosion will require the flue to be replaced. In addition to holes in the flue, blockages in the flue can cause fumes to backdraft into your home. Animal nests, twigs, leaves, and other debris that has fallen into the flue while your furnace was out of use are the most common causes of blockages. Hiring a furnace contractor to inspect your flue for blockages and to double-check for holes is the best way to make sure that your flue is working correctly. Install a Carbon Monoxide Detector Even if your furnace flue is in good shape now, that doesn’t mean that fume backdraft is a problem you should forget about. Installing a carbon monoxide detector before using your furnace is the best way to keep your family safe from furnace fumes. While carbon monoxide is normally undetectable, there are...

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