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3 Unconventional Options You Will Want To Consider For Wood Flooring With Your Remodel

Posted by on Jul 13, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Are you considering adding new wood floors to your home with a remodeling project? Have you considered some of the less conventional options, such as engineered floors or bamboo? Today, there are many more modern choices to give your home durable wood floors and sometimes these options can even cost less than conventional wood flooring. Here are some of the alternatives you may want to consider to give your home new floors during a remodeling project: 1. Laminated Flooring That Looks Just Like Real Wood Laminate flooring can be a great choice for new floors in your home. There are more choices for laminate than ever before, and some of them make it hard to tell the difference between laminate and other flooring products. If you want to have wood floors in an area like a basement, you may want to consider using a laminate flooring with a wood pattern. This can give your basement the look of real wood, but with a durable, water resistant material that can withstand a basement flood.   2. Engineered Flooring Products That Can Be Easily Removed Engineered floors are a type of synthetic flooring that have layers of wood and compressed materials. These floors have many advantages over real wood floors, such as the fact that they can have padding installed beneath them to make them more comfortable to walk on. They can also be installed and removed easily, which can be good if you like to remodel often or change the look of the floor. 3. Bamboo And Other Alternative Materials For Greener Wood Floors Bamboo is another newer product which can be a good alternative to conventional wood floors. It is a green material that grows quickly and can be harvested year after year. One of the great things about bamboo is the fact that you can choose from a variety of different styles and colors for your floor, and it is an affordable alternative to other flooring materials. There are also other alternatives, such as using reclaimed wood or a vinyl flooring that is installed just like some of the other wood flooring products. These are some of the alternatives that you may want to consider to give your home new floors for a remodeling project. If you are ready to have new floors installed in your home, contact a contractor like Lockwoods Carpets and talk with them about bamboo and other alternatives to conventional...

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Understanding The Different Garage Door Openers

Posted by on Jun 7, 2016 in Uncategorized |

You may spend a little more time on considering your actual garage door. You’ll choose the style, color, material and even insulation options. However, on a day-to-day basis, the garage door opener can have a significant impact on your routines. Gone are the days of simply pushing or pulling the door – now it’s all about automation. Choose a garage door opener that best serves your space and noise preferences. Jackshaft Openers Jackshaft garage door openers run via a motor that operates pulleys and cables. This system turns a  torsion bar, which in turn raises the garage door. In reverse, the motor loosens the cables to lower the door. Because jackshaft openers mount on the wall beside the garage doors, they keep the ceilings free for storage. Though one of the more expensive options, jackshaft openers are very quiet and reliable. Choose a jackshaft opener if the garage is adjacent to a bedroom and/or if you have an atypical ceiling height in your garage.   Direct-Drive Unit If you want a really quiet garage door opener, Consumer Research recommends buying a direct-drive unit. With this setup, a J-arm connects the motor to the door. Instead of a trolley moving along the chain, as is the case with chain-driven operators, the motor itself travels this route. An overhead rail house the chain. These systems are so quiet because the motor is the only moving part. Made in Germany, direct-drive openers are typically priced similarly to belt-driven units. Such an opener is a good alternative to a jackshift opener. Chain-Driven Opener A basic automated opener is a chain-driven model. With this model, a trolley connected to a J-arm moves along the chain. The J-arm, in turn, is connected to the garage door. While the old school varieties could be somewhat noisy, new models operate with DC motors and quieter vibration technology. This makes them quieter, though probably not ideal for garages adjacent to bedrooms. A chain-driven opener is good for detached garages or those separated from the living area by a hallway or mudroom. Belt-Driven Opener A belt-driven opener is almost identical to a chain-driven one except the chain is replaced with a reinforced belt. Manufacturers create the belt out of steel-reinforced rubber, polyurethane or fiberglass. They are slightly more expensive than chain-driven openers. However, they’re just as reliable and much quieter.    Screw-Driven Opener In this type of garage door opener, a motor rotates a threaded-steel rod – like a screw – to which the trolley is affixed. The trolley moves along the rod, which replaces the chain or belt, to move the garage door. There are fewer moving parts, so screw-driven openers often require less maintenance. For noise, they’re somewhere between chain-driven and belt-driven openers. Choose this option if you have a heavier door or if you want less maintenance in your opener. After you’ve selected the perfect garage door, choose an opener that works within your budget and your...

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Buying An Old Home? Hire An Electrician For These Important Jobs

Posted by on Jun 7, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Old homes have a high degree of charm, but it’s important to ensure that you go into the buying process with your eyes wide open. A home’s age can mean that there are issues, including with its electrical system — and, over time, you could be exposed to a host of problems because of the old wiring. This shouldn’t necessarily scare you away from buying an old home, but it should remind you to budget to have some electrical work completed once the sale goes through. Although the home inspection might shine a light on some specific electrical issues that you’ll want addressed, it’s generally a good idea to hire an electrician to handle these following jobs. Upgrading The Wiring Upgrading the wiring in an old home is arguably the biggest electrical job that your electrician will encounter. In many cases, old homes will be equipped with aluminum wire, which poses more of a safety risk than the present-day standard of copper wire. In other cases, the electrician will encounter wiring that doesn’t meet the current building code. It’s best to hire an electrician who has performed work of this nature in the past. Upgrading the entire home is a time-consuming process that requires plenty of care, as the electrician will often have to cut holes in your walls to access the old wiring. Updating The Circuit Panel Box Old homes weren’t wired with the electrical demands of the modern-day family in mind, which means that many of the circuits in the home will not support your various electronic devices. The result will be a multitude of inconveniences — you could deal with the frequent tripping of circuits whenever you run two or more electrical devices at the same time, for example. Your electrician will be able to first inspect the age and condition of the circuit panel box, and then upgrade the circuits so you won’t be left in the dark. Tending To The Service Head The service head in your home is the device through which wiring from the nearby power poles meet and enter your home. In an old home, the wiring and connections in the service head are almost certainly outdated — and the result can often be power outages, constantly dimming lights and other inconveniences. Your licensed electrician will be able to climb onto your roof, remove the cap of the service head and inspect the situation. He or she will then be able to perform the necessary upgrades. To learn more about updating the electrical system in an old home, see Dr Electric or another professional electrician in your...

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Can You Install Your Own Vinyl Siding?

Posted by on May 20, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Some of the most cost effective home remodels are those that are done on the exterior. An exterior remodel will instantly increase the curb appeal and ultimate value of your property. One of the smartest exterior remodel projects is to invest in vinyl siding. It is a very affordable product that is even more cost effective if you install it on your own. Installing vinyl siding is fairly simple. This article explains the process so you will know what to expect before you make the investment. Figuring Out the Physical Requirements of the Job Perhaps the first thing you should consider is if you are going to be able to actually carry and transport the vinyl. Vinyl is sold in small packs that are designed with the consumer in mind. You can easily transport them to a joist with a pickup truck or van. The actual vinyl planks are not particularly heavy, especially when you compare them to hardwood planks. However, they are still very long and awkward to carry. You also have to remember that you will be installing your vinyl while climbing up and down a ladder. This obviously makes it much more difficult to handle. To get a good idea of how difficult it is to carry and install vinyl, you can actually go look at the packages in a home improvement store. The Design of your Home You should also closely consider the design of your exterior walls. If your home has a basic design with mostly flat walls and square edges, vinyl should not be too hard to install. However, if you have curved walls, rounded edges, and an angled gable roof, vinyl installation will be much more complicated. Your Sidewall Material Lastly, you should consider what type of walls you have. Installing vinyl siding over wooden walls is usually the easiest because the anchor pieces can be securely screwed into the wood. Stucco walls are usually easy as well, but you need to use special drillbits to secure the anchors through the stucco. Installing on solid brick or concrete walls requires a little more work. You basically use the same technique, but you need to use stronger, pneumatic drills because the sidewalls are so much harder and denser. You should consider all of these factors and then decide whether your vinyl is best left to the professionals or if you can handle it on your own. For a professional contractor, contact a company such as Century Roofing Company...

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Prevent Soil Erosion On Your Property With These Four Cover Methods

Posted by on May 4, 2016 in Uncategorized |

There are different methods you can use to control soil erosion on your property. One of these is a cover method. Cover erosion control method is protecting your soil from the effects of rain. This method can also improve your soil fertility. Below are four types of cover methods you can use. Early Planting There is usually a lot of rain during the spring months no matter where you live, and in many cases it is torrential rain. This causes quite a force on your soil, which leads to soil erosion on bare land. The impact of rain on bare soil dislodges soil particles. Some of this soil splashes away but most of the soil does not leave the area.  This rain closes the surface pores in the soil, which reduces water infiltration and water runoff. All of this increases the soil erosion. Doing your planting in the early spring breaks up your soil, which allows the rain to soak into the ground much easier. If the plants grow enough to help cover the soil, this will also help keep the soil in good condition. Mulching Put mulch around your plants. Organic mulch such as leaves, straw, grass, and rice leaves works well.  The mulch should be approximately two or three inches thick. This covers up the soil, and also helps keep the soil moist for your flowers and prevents weeds from growing. When applying the mulch, push it a few inches away from the base of each plant so the mulch does not smother them. Mulch also works well on bare soil areas. Cover Crops Cover crops are often called living mulch. The plants are generally legumes, and planted to cover the soil as well as stop weeds from growing. This type of cover crop is often used under fruit trees or slow maturing crops. Mixed Cropping With the mixed cropping cover method, a variety of plants are planted close together so they completely cover the bare soil. Farmers often used this method on their land, but it can work for you as well. The plants are usually planted in rows, or you can plant them in a circular pattern. Squash and pumpkins work well for this purpose. This not only prevents soil erosion but also provides you with food. Using these methods will allow you to have healthy soil on your land. It may take one season for this to work well, as the plants will need to have time to grow. For professional help with erosion control, contact a company like Specialty Construction...

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4 Ways To Prepare Your AC For Summer

Posted by on Mar 30, 2016 in Uncategorized |

As summer approaches, visions of barbeques and swimming come to mind. Along with that comes the escape from the heat into your home which, hopefully, will be cooled down by an air conditioner. Here are four tips on how to prepare your AC for summer.  Replace the Filter Unless you have a washable filter which you can simply clean, you will need to replace the filter for you air conditioner about once a month during the months you are using the air conditioner. This will help the air conditioner run more efficiently as well as keep high air quality in your home.  Clean AC Condenser Coils  Running the AC with dirty condenser coils can drive up the cost of running the AC by quite a bit. To save some money this summer and here on out, clean the condenser coils at the beginning of summer each year. The process is simpler than it sounds; all you need to do is purchase specially made coil cleaner, apply it to the coils, wait for it to foam off, and then rinse it off with a hose.  Check Coolant Lines As with the condenser coils, the coolant lines need to be checked at the start of each summer when you will be using the AC. Make sure that the insulation around the coolant lines is in good shape. The coolant line needs to be properly insulated in order to prevent condensation on the lines. Look for tears, rips or worn out spots in the insulation. If the insulation is not in good shape you can replace it, but make sure that you get the exact type of insulation called for.  Test AC and Call in a Professional  You should turn your AC on before it starts to get very hot to ensure that it is working. If you find that it isn’t working, or if you don’t want to check your AC yourself, it is a good practice to bring a professional in to check your AC at the start of each summer. They will be able to make sure that the AC is in good working order and maintained correctly. An AC professional will be familiar with changing/replacing filters, condenser coils, and coolant lines, and unless you are familiar with HVAC systems, will save you a headache knowing that you will not run into any problems with your AC while it is hot during the summer. Contact a service like Aggressive Mechanical Contractors to learn...

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3 Tips For DIY Backyard Landscaping

Posted by on Mar 30, 2016 in Uncategorized |

A beautiful backyard is something that most homeowners want, but hiring a landscaping company can be expensive and more than a person can afford to spend. If you are willing to put in some time, effort, and spend a little bit of cash, you can have a great yard for you and your family to enjoy. If you’re considering landscaping your yard yourself, use the following tips to ensure that you stay within your budget: Grow Your Own Lawn Having a lawn in the backyard is great for kids and pets to enjoy, and it is also visually appealing. Sod is very popular, but you’ll pay a premium especially if you need the ground prepared. If you have a little bit of time and patience, you can grow a beautiful lawn from seed that will rival the look of a sod lawn. The first step is to purchase the right type of seed for your climate. Visit a local gardening nursery and ask a staff member for advice on what kind of grass grows best in your area. After selecting the right grass seed, you’ll need to get the ground ready. Remove all weeds, dead patches of grass, and rocks with a garden hoe, and then apply a thin layer of nutrient rich soil. Use a hand-held or push seeder to distribute the seeds. If you notice a lot of birds in your yard, place a layer of straw over the seeds to protect them from the birds. Give the area plenty of water every day, and it won’t be long until you have a gorgeous lawn for the fraction of the cost of laying sod. Utilize Ready Mix Concrete Ready mix concrete is a very affordable material when landscaping a backyard. Use the concrete to lay a great patio where you can place an outdoor dining table, or purchase concrete molds from companies like Van Doren Red-E-Mix that allow you to create a beautiful path to the gate in your side yard or a garden. Ready mix concrete is very versatile; just make sure that you are ready to use it right away so it doesn’t harden too fast. Consider a Water Feature One of the easiest ways to add impact to a DIY landscaping project is by including a water feature. Fountains and ponds are eye-catchers, and you can make them the focal point of your yard. Beautiful fountains can be purchased at may home improvement stores. A DIY pond requires some digging, a pond liner insert, and some foliage. When you finish your DIY landscaping, you will most likely have a wonderful yard that you will enjoy on a regular...

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Troubleshooting Five Common Malfunctions Of An Automatic Gate

Posted by on Mar 4, 2016 in Uncategorized |

If you want to properly maintain your automatic gate, you need to stay on top of malfunctions by carefully troubleshooting. The longer your automatic gate is out of service, the more hassle it’s going to cause you at your facility.  The following is some basic troubleshooting information on five of the most common malfunctions seen in the workings of automatic gates: The gate is not reacting at all when controls are pressed. When this happens, the first thing that should be done is an inspection of both the switch and the breaker to which the switch is connected. If the breaker does not need to be flipped and the switch seems to be functioning properly, you should check the outlet itself. Plug another electronic device into the outlet to see if the outlet itself is functioning. If you still have not determined the problem, you should consider the possibility that the ground fault interrupter is tripping.  The gate only functions when there is a person standing nearby. If the position of people around the gate affects the functioning of the gate’s automatic opening and closing mechanism, there could be an issue with the unit’s antenna. Try elevating the antenna to remedy the situation. If this doesn’t solve the problem, it’s possible that a radio transmission source nearby is interfering with the automatic gate’s signal. This might make it necessary for you to purchase a special receiver that won’t be subject to interruption.  The gate opens but doesn’t close. One of the most common reasons why a gate would successfully open but have problems closing is a physical object blocking the gate. Check the gate’s track to see if there are any mechanical blockages. Also, you should inspect for physical damage to the track.  If your automatic gate swings to open, there could be damage to the gate arm if the gate is opening properly but not able to close afterwards.  A beeping sound continuously comes from the gate. Like home fire alarms, automatic gates are frequently programmed to beep periodically as the battery loses juice. If you notice that a persistent beeping is coming from the gate assembly, try changing the battery and see what happens.  The gate doesn’t stop where you want it to stop. If a slide gate continues to move past the point where it is closed, there could be a problem with its limit switch nut missing the limit switch. On a slide gate, a lever should keep the nut held in the proper place. You’ll need to make sure that it’s lining up properly with the limit switch and adjust it as necessary to get the gate to stop where it’s supposed to.  For more information about maintaining your gate, visit websites...

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How To Prepare Your Boiler For Winter

Posted by on Feb 10, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Winter can be hard on your home and its components and you need to prepare for it. Your home’s boiler system is especially important to prepare for winter. There are several steps you should take to prepare properly. Properly Maintain Your Boiler It’s important to maintain your boiler all year long, especially in winter. Here are a few of the most important things to remember for proper maintenance of your boiler system. Clean: It’s a good idea to clean before the bad weather hits and the same goes for your boiler system. Check for soot and clean it up to keep the boiler running smoothly. Filter: Depending on the type of filer your boiler has you will either need to replace it or clean it. It’s good to do this before winter hits to keep your boiler system running efficiently. Check hardware: Make sure that you check all the fittings and hardware to make sure they are not rusted or worn out. Have Your Boiler Inspected It’s best to have your home’s boiler system inspected once a year to make sure it’s functioning properly and that no additional maintenance is required. Generally an inspection involves examining the gas lines, tightening gaskets, and cleaning the vents. Run Your Boiler to Find Hidden Problems Sometimes it may seem as though your boiler looks and runs just fine, but when you run it the problems can come to the surface and it’s time to get professional help. Also, while you’re running the boiler, look at the flame to make sure it is the normal blue color. If the flame has the appearance of a yellow color or is smoky then something is wrong. It is normal to hear some noise when you run your boiler, but if you hear any loud, unusual sounds coming from your boiler then it might be time to get help. The same goes for smells. You shouldn’t smell anything coming from your boiler while it runs. If you smell anything burning, then turn the boiler off and get help. Other Things to Remember Make sure not to leave the vents closed. If you do keep them closed, the heat will not be dispersed evenly and will not heat your house efficiently. The most important thing of all is to make sure you have a carbon monoxide detector if you run the type of boiler that has the threat of carbon monoxide leaks. Maintenance, cleaning, and inspecting your home’s boiler is not difficult or that time consuming. It’s best to make sure everything is in good working order to ensure you can keep your house nice and toasty in winter. It’s also best to do this in order to keep your boiler running efficiently and safely. For more information, contact a company like A Absolute Plumbing &...

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Scaffolding Can Be Made Out Of Several Materials

Posted by on Jan 19, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Scaffolding is used on construction sites to allow workers to access higher levels of buildings in a safe way. The scaffolds give them a firm, level area to walk on so that the work can be done. Scaffolding is made of several different materials.  Metal Most scaffolding that is used in North America and the western world is made out of metal, with some wooden parts. This is especially true when it comes to scaffolding that is several levels high. The metal is stronger than wood and holds up well. The pipes that make up the majority of the scaffolding are hollow and made of steel or aluminum. The vertical pipes are bolted together, with cross beams that form a large X inside each section, to give further strength and support. Then there are some horizontal pipes put on to support the platforms for the workers to stand on. The platforms are generally made out of wood. but can also be made out of metal.  Composite Metal scaffolds aren’t always able to be used on construction sites. In places where there is a risk of electrocution, metal scaffolds don’t make it safer for people to work, it just puts them at higher risk. In those cases, a thermoplastic composite that has been reinforced with glass fiber can be used. The plastic doesn’t conduct electricity, so it can be used around high-voltage lines or other electrical sources. The glass fiber reinforces the thermoplastic to make it stronger. This scaffolding can use used with wooden planks, but is more commonly used with composite planks as well.  Bamboo In places where bamboo is plentiful, like China and India, bamboo is used for scaffolds. Bamboo is much stronger than most people think. The strength comes from the way that the bamboo grows. It grows in sections without any knots or crooked fibers. It has been used for scaffolding even when building high rise buildings. The scaffolding can be secured at the corners with nylon straps or even with rope that has been made out of the hair found on coconut shells.  Scaffolding makes it much easier for tall buildings to be built. Without it, workers wouldn’t have a safe place to stand and work. When it comes to scaffolding construction, there are several different materials that scaffolding can be made out of, and each has its own place in the world of building construction. For further assistance, contact a local outlet, such as American Scaffolding...

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Removing Your Carpeting To Go Back To Hardwood Flooring

Posted by on Dec 31, 2015 in Uncategorized |

If your house has hardwood underneath your carpet, there may come a time where you want to go back to how the floors once were. It will be tedious to remove all of your carpeting to get to that original hardwood, but in the end, it will be worth it. Here is how you can do it on your own. Tools And Materials Before you can start this project, you’ll need the following items. Anything that you don’t own can be purchased or rented at a home improvement store. Utility knife Screwdriver Duct tape Sponge Vacuum cleaner Mild detergent Edging sander Floor sander Putty knife Wood putty Sandpaper (Fine-grit, medium, and coarse) Stain Varnish Sheepskin cloth Remove The Carpeting The first step is removing the moldings that surround the room. Then use your utility knife to cut the carpeting into strips. Your city may have rules concerning how wide carpeting rolls can be to be picked up from the trash removal service, so make sure they conform to those standards. Start pulling back the carpeting, using a screwdriver to remove staples if necessary. Use duct tape to secure the rolls together when finished with each strip. Then dispose of the carpet pad underneath. Clean And Sand You’ll need to give the floor a proper cleaning to get rid of the dirt and debris left on the floor from the carpeting. For example, there may be glue on the floor from the carpet padding. You can use mild detergent and a sponge to give the floor a good scrubbing, and vacuum up any remaining dirt. A floor sander and edging sander will make the sanding process go fast, and both can be rented from a local home improvement store. The entire floor surface will need to be sanded using coarse sandpaper, followed by medium-grit, then fine-grit. Use a vacuum cleaner to remove remaining dust in the area. Stairs will need to be sanded by hand, since they are too small to use the larger equipment on. Repair and Finish Any holes or cracks in the flooring can now be fixed. You can fill them using wood putty and your putty knife. Once the putty has hardened, you can use sandpaper to make the area smooth. Apply stain to the floor using your sheepskin cloth, which will not cause damage to the floor’s surface when applying it. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for how long the stain must dry before applying additional coats for a darker finish. Varnish can be applied last to make the floor shine, as well as help seal the stain in. If any of this sounds too difficult for you, contact a hardwood flooring business, such as Rainwood Interiors Inc, to help you out....

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