An Exploration of Air Conditioner Maintenance and Repairs

Stylish Ideas For Small Bathrooms

Everyone would love to have a gigantic master bath reminiscent of a favorite spa. The reality, though, is that many people have homes with small bathrooms. That doesn’t mean you’re doomed to being cramped – it just means you need to get creative with your bathroom remodel.

Replace the Sink

A sink on top of a full vanity takes up valuable real estate. One option for a small bathroom is replacing the standard vanity with a pedestal sink. Not only is such an installation attractive, it takes up far less space. Another option is replacing a regular vanity with a floating one. The area beneath can be used for additional storage or just to increase the visual space.

Install on a Wall

Speaking of the sink area, another option is having the plumbing extend directly from the wall. Indeed, Better Homes and Gardens suggests having a single-handle faucet installed in the wall. Another option is a tankless toilet, which receives water directly from the water line. This set up eliminates the need for a bulky tank.

Include Glass Tile

Not only is tile easy to clean and maintain, it’s also very attractive. While regular porcelain tile is lovely, glass is an excellent choice for a small bathroom. The surface of glass tile shimmers automatically, thus increasing the light in the room. More light makes the space seem bigger. Choose light colors to further promote that feeling of airy space.

Add a Glass Shower Door

Whether your bathroom has a shower-bathtub combination or simply a walk-in stall, add a glass shower door. Have it installed as a sliding glass door rather than on a pivot. This minimizes the amount of space the door takes up when open. Likewise, just like glass tiles maximize the visual space, so, too, does a glass shower door.

Customize Your Storage

There’s never seems to be enough storage space, even in the largest of bathrooms. That’s because the space is appropriate for the home owner’s needs. You may have dozens of towels but no place to put them because the storage is constructed for toiletries. Since you’re having your bathroom remodeled anyway, have the storage designed to meet your needs specifically. Make a list of all the items you want to keep near to hand in the bathroom, and talk to your contractors about the best storage configuration.

Don’t lament your small bathroom. Instead, add stylish upgrades that increase the visual space while helping your bathroom complement your morning routine. For more information, speak to contractors like ULF & Associates, LLC.

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Tips To Care For Your Trees

The trees on your property are more than a nice decorative touch. They serve a real function that not only impacts you, but others. It is because of the many benefits of trees that it is important to properly care for them. Here are some tips for ensuring your trees are in good health all year. 

Why Are Trees Important?

Trees provide a number of functions, including helping to absorb pollutants that can be found in the air and soil. They also help to remove harmful carbon dioxide that is in the air. 

The benefits are not limited to the environment. Trees help to reduce your energy bills during the warm months by providing shade. Your home is also better insulated from noise pollution when you have trees in the yard. 

If you are thinking of selling your home, the presence of healthy trees can help improve your curb appeal and entice more potential homebuyers to your property. If you are renting your property, trees can even be a reason to ask for a few more dollars each month. 

What Can You Do to Care for Your Trees?

Ideally, you should work with a professional to ensure your trees stay healthy. A professional can not only provide invaluable regular care to your trees, but he or she can spot problems before they spread throughout a tree. 

Good care of a tree involves several steps, including watering the trees. How often you water your tree depends on its age. For instance, if you have a tree that is two years of age and younger, you need to water your tree for about 30 seconds daily

Trimming your trees is also important. Trimming the trees helps to remove dead wood and also helps to remove the risk of a branch falling and causing damage to property. 

Knowing when to trim your tree can be difficult to determine. Some species of trees are better trimmed during the winter months, while others are best during the summer. Let your tree professional help you determine the best time.

Mulching is also important to your tree. Mulch provides soil insulation and helps the roots of your trees stay moist[,] which is important to growth. 

Your trees are important to not only you and your family, but those around you. Taking care of your tree is a smart, financial decision that will pay off in the long run. (For more information, contact Tall Timbers Tree & Shrub Service Inc or another company)

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Five Demolition Tips That All Do-It-Yourselfers Need To Know

Whether you need to tear up your old carpet before laying your new floor or remove your circa mid-1970s, harvest-gold bathtub before installing a granite tile shower, nearly every home renovation project involves some sort of demolition. However, if you aren’t careful, demolition can be expensive, frustrating, and dangerous. So, before you start knocking down walls in your house, check out these four demolition tips.

Demolition Tools

You wouldn’t try to cut wood in half with a butter knife, so why would you try to begin the demolition process without the proper tools? Some home renovation projects may require a few project-specific demolition tools, but there are several tools that are used during the majority of home demolition projects, including:

  • Crowbar
  • Prybar
  • Hammer
  • Claw hammer
  • Sledgehammer
  • Mini sledgehammer
  • Flashlight

Don’t forget to grab your safety equipment when you’re collecting supplies for your project. At the very least, you should wear a dust mask when working on a smaller project. If you’re working on a large project, you should also wear work gloves, a hard hat, and goggles.

Know What’s Behind the Wall Before You Swing

Before you swing your sledgehammer to your wall, you need to know what’s behind it so that you don’t damage a water or gas pipe. Fortunately, it’s easy to find out what’s there. Simply use your hammer to create a small hole in the wall. Then, use a flashlight to look.

Make Disposing of Debris Simple

Part of completing a large demolition project is cleaning up your mess. Not only do you have to carry the debris out of the house, you have to haul the it to the dump — unless you rent a dumpster or hire a hauling service.

Turn Off the Power

Electrical mishaps are dangerous, which is why it’s important to turn off the power to the room that you’re working in completely. If you need electricity so that you can use a light or power tools while you work, run an extension cord into the room.

Remove Debris as You Work

Removing debris as you work often makes the demolition process faster. Not only does carrying debris to the dumpster give you a short work break, but it’s safer to work in a clean environment than it is to work around debris.

Doing your own demolition work can save you a lot of money, but it also requires a lot of work. So, before you start the project make sure you’re prepared. If not, you should consider hiring a construction company to complete the demolition process.

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3 Maintenance Tips For Vinyl Siding On Your Home

If you are considering installing vinyl siding for your home, you want to be aware of how to ensure that it is long lasting. Keeping the vinyl siding long lasting will keep your home valuable and ensure that you don’t have to replace it for a long time to come. This is going to save you money and even help you to sell your home if you plan to in the near future. Here are three maintenance tips to keep in mind when you install vinyl siding:

  1. Keep it Washed: You want to wash vinyl siding regularly, since dirt and grime can build up on it easily. This is especially true if you live in a windy area, since dirt can easily blow up onto the siding and stick to it. One of the great things about vinyl siding is that you don’t have to use any special cleaners to keep it washed. Instead, you can simply use soap and water to keep it clean. 
  2. Always Check for Moisture: A problem that many homeowners have with their vinyl siding is water damage. This is because homeowners don’t check for moisture build up on the siding often enough. If you leave moisture stuck in the vinyl siding, mold can easily begin to grow and cause you to deal with expensive mold removal, or it can even make you have to replace the vinyl siding altogether.
  3. Replace Damaged Panels: Whenever you notice a damaged panel on the vinyl siding, you need to have it replaced. Damaged panels aren’t going to protect your home as they should. If you leave damaged panels, there is a chance that you will eventually have to replace the whole siding of the house, which can be expensive, instead of replacing damaged panels as they occur. A damaged panel is any panel that has chips, cracks, and other marks. Luckily, vinyl panels are extremely easy to install, so you don’t have to worry about how much time it takes out of your day to replace any. 

By knowing how to properly care for the vinyl siding on your home, you can be sure that it lasts as long as possible and keeps the value of your home high. You will also be able to enjoy the many benefits of vinyl siding, which includes its long lasting features, since vinyl holds up well against many extreme weather conditions. 

For more information, contact a local siding installation company, like Liberty Exteriors LLC

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Want to Make Your Home an Intriguing Place? Consider One of These Staircase Ideas

Home is definitely what you make it–from the furnishings to the people inside of it, to the decor and more. One of the things that can make your home more intriguing when your guests come over and more visually appealing to you and your family members is a custom staircase. There are all kinds of fun things that you can do with staircases to give your home a unique flair, and some of the best ideas include:

Stairs With Storage Space

One of the coolest ideas that is both attractive and frugal is the stairs with storage space option. You can have a contractor build your stairs just like any normal set of steps, but then inside each step, there should be a pullout drawer that you can access to store items in that you wouldn’t normally have extra space for. If you’re afraid of falling down the stairs when trying to put things into the drawers or take them out, then you can opt just to have the bottom two steps converted into storage drawers, as that way you can still access them from the floor if you so desire.

The Classic Spiral Staircase

In movies and books, you often see pictures of a spiral staircase with its elegant looks and winding railings. Though one of these staircases might be exhausting to walk on all day long, they definitely look attractive and beautiful. In the event that you ever need to sell your home, a spiral staircase is sure to be one of the major selling points that really convinces the potential buyer to go for this classy home.

Figures Added to the Bannister

For a really attractive and unique look, consider getting a set of stairs with some sort of a figurine added to the bannister or railing. This type of staircase should generally be placed right near the front door, as it will greet guests when they come in. Depending on the type of figurine you decide to put on the bannister, the stairs can look a bit imposing or shocking at first, but more often than not, the design looks rather elegant and may even improve people’s opinion of your home.

Floating Stairs

If you’re confident in your ability to not fall down the stairs, then a set of floating stairs might be an attractive way to add some flair to your home. These stairs do look attractive, and people will be amazed at how you can get up and down them without hurting yourself. Anyone who uses these stairs should be careful, though, as there is nothing to hang onto when using them, so caution must be taken at all times so as not to fall and suffer a serious injury.

Stairs are some of the best parts of homes, as they not only provide access from one story of the home to another, but they also often tell the story of the home just in the way that they are designed. If you want a staircase that breaks the traditional mold and that looks quite different from the rest, then consider one of the four ideas mentioned above and watch your guests “ooh” and “aah” when they come over to your house. (For more information, contact Whiteford Hardwood Floors Unlimited LLC.) 

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3 Ways To Prevent Flooding In Your Basement

If you are worried about your home flooding, you’re not alone. Floods are the #1 disaster in America and can rake up over $3 billion in damages annually. The last thing you want to worry about is going down to your basement and seeing water. This could be the result of a leaking pipe, a bad hot water heater, or even a crack in your foundation. Being able to prevent this type of damage to your home can save you thousands of dollars. Here is what you can do to prevent your basement from flooding. 

Fix Lot Drainage Issues

One of the major causes of basement flooding is improper drainage. If you want to ensure your foundation remains free from rainwater pressure, you are going to have to inspect your property for these issues. You want the ground to slope away from your foundation so you don’t have to worry about rainwater putting pressure on the exterior of your home. This is doable with just a shovel and a little work. Create barriers around your home that allow the water to be diverted away from the home. 

Install a Sump Pump

Sump pumps are great for preventing flooding from occurring in your basement. If you don’t have one, you should look at getting one installed. A sump pump can cost you between $100 and $200 and is well worth the cost in the end if it helps you avoid flooding. Most sump pumps run on electricity so it will cost you some money to run. You can find several models offering a backup battery that will keep it running should the power go out. 

Repair Cracks

You should inspect your foundation often for cracks. This is a sure way to accumulate water in your basement if it is exposed to the outdoor elements. Even a small crack can cause an extensive amount of damage when water gets through. In order to avoid this from happening, you need to make sure you seal up any cracks. You can purchase some epoxy at your local hardware store that allows you to seal up any cracks quickly and efficiently. 

If your basement does get flooded, be sure to call a professional water mitigation service. They can mitigate the water quickly and efficiently ensuring the least amount of water damage possible. Electrical and slip and fall hazards are always potential problems if you try and handle the water restoration yourself. 

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Garage Door Maintenance Tips

Your garage door: An integral part of your home, but something that you probably don’t think about too much. When you want to pull your car out or in, you open and close the door to your garage, and you don’t give it a second thought. But, when it gets stuck, it starts to shimmy or it makes a lot of noise, your garage door is suddenly on the forefront of your mind.

In order to avoid these types of problems, your garage door should be something that you think about often. Why? Because you should perform regular maintenance on it. With routine maintenance, you can keep your garage door functioning properly and safe.

Here’s a look at some routine maintenance tips that will keep this part of your home in good shape.

Inspect the Springs and Track

The springs and the track play a key role in the operation of your garage door and they should be inspected regularly. In order for the door to function properly and safely, they need to be bolted securely in place. If you notice that they are moving or shaking, adjustments need to be made. To be on the safe side, have a professional do this job. Even if you’re a seasoned handyman, if you aren’t well-versed in garage door repair, you could end up hurting yourself, or making the door unsafe.

Lube It

There are several components involved in the operation of a garage door, and these components need to be lubricated in order to operate properly.

Lubricate the hinges, wheels, bearings, rollers, springs and tracks once a year using grease, oil or a silicone-based spray lubricant. This is a job that you can safely do yourself. However, if you are uncomfortable doing it, call a professional to do the job for you.

Check the Weather Stripping

Every garage door has weather stripping around its edges. This weather stripping prevents wind, rain, snow, sleet and all other elements from penetrating your garage door. If the weather stripping is frayed or loose, you could end up having a wet, cold or hot garage. Replace the stripping as needed to ensure those elements stay out. This is another DIY job, but again, if you feel uncomfortable doing it yourself, have a professional replace it for you.

Your garage door is an important part of your home. In order to ensure that it operates properly and safely, routine maintenance by you and a professional, like Kim’s Garage, is an absolute must.

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