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Three Ways To Give Your Wooden Front Door A More Classic Appeal Without Replacing It

Posted by on Jan 17, 2017 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Three Ways To Give Your Wooden Front Door A More Classic Appeal Without Replacing It

If your home has a more traditional, old-fashioned look, then a plain, wooden front door is going to look slightly out of place. This is not to say you need to replace that front door. Rather, there are a few things you can do to give the plain, wooden front door a more classic appeal. Replace the hinges and door handle. Say goodbye to plain, subtle hinges. Instead, look for a set made from wrought iron or brass. As long as you can use a screwdriver, you should be able to handle taking the door off the hinges, removing the current hinges, and screwing the new ones into place. You may need a friend to help you if the door is heavy. Also, replace the current door handle with an old-fashioned one that matches the hinges. Keep in mind that in older styles, door handles were often very large and a prominent feature of the door. Install decorative straps. Straps are metal pieces that coordinate with the door’s hinge. They stretch out horizontally across the door, beginning at the hinge and reaching a few inches inward. Make sure the straps you buy coordinate well with your hinges. Sometimes you can find hinges and straps sold as a matching set. Ones with a black wrought iron finish are common. Many styles have a spear or heart at the end of the strap. Sand down and re-stain parts of the door. Your modern wooden door probably looks too new and pristine if it has a sleek, even finish. A good way to give it a more weathered look is to sand down portions of it with gritty sandpaper. You could sand down a spot under the door handle to make it look like it’s worn from people using it. Sanding down a few sections near the bottom of the door works well, too.  Once you’ve sanded certain sections, choose a stain that’s similar in color to the rest of the door, and apply it to the stained areas. Rub it in well to create a seamless transition between the rest of the door and the sanded patches. It’s okay if they’re a slightly different color; this is what you’re going for. If you follow the tips above, you can have your modern door looking aged and more classic within an afternoon. You should have no trouble finding hinges, a handle, and straps that suit your taste as vintage looks have become common among manufacturers of these items. Check out companies like The Rustic Express to get...

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3 Inexpensive Changes That Can Make A Home Easier To Sell

Posted by on Jan 13, 2017 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Inexpensive Changes That Can Make A Home Easier To Sell

Selling a home can be a difficult task in certain real estate markets. Even when a home is priced right, well maintained, and in a great location buyers may not be interested. Many homeowners may be tempted to undergo large renovations or make big changes in order to sell their homes. However, big renovations do not always pay off. A full renovation with high end finishes may not be attractive to every seller. Small and exterior home renovation projects have been shown to add the most value to homes and better recoup their costs. Here are three inexpensive projects that may make a home easier to sell. New Front Door The front door and entry way is the first thing that most potential buyers will see when they enter the home. First impressions are important! Cleaning up the entry way and replacing the front door are inexpensive ways to make a home more attractive. The cost of a new front door can range from $475 to $1,291 with installation. This project has around a 75 percent return on investment. For homeowners who find this project to be too expensive, simply adding a coat of paint to the front door can have many of the same benefits without the price tag. Reface Kitchen Cabinets For many home buyers, the kitchen is a very important room. Not only is it a place for cooking, but many use the kitchen for entertaining. A beautiful kitchen is a great selling feature for any home. The problem that many homeowners run into is that a full kitchen remodel is expensive, costing an average of $20,556. There are other options for homeowners who want a nicer looking kitchen without the price tag. Refacing kitchen cabinets can change the entire look of the kitchen. The cost can vary greatly ranging from as low as $1,000 to over $9,000. In general, refacing cabinets is about half the cost of replacing them.  Cleaning And Painting While replacing the front door and refacing kitchen cabinets are inexpensive compared to a large scale renovation, for some homeowners the cost may still be too much. Luckily a can of paint can make a huge difference for not a lot of money. Painting a room as a do-it-yourself project usually costs between $200 and $300 and can make a big difference. Neutral colors are the most attractive to a wide range of home buyers. Also simply clearing out clutter in the home can make it look larger and thus more attractive to buyers. Selling a home can mean a lot of work for the current homeowner. However, before undergoing massive renovations for a home that just won’t sell, homeowners should consider a few less expensive changes first. A new front door, refaced cabinets, and a new coat of paint and removing clutter inside can make a huge...

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Five Advantages to Using Soft Water in Your Home

Posted by on Jan 12, 2017 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Five Advantages to Using Soft Water in Your Home

Hard water is a condition that occurs when water has an unusually high mineral content, usually when calcium and magnesium levels are high. Although drinking hard water will not cause you or family members harm, it can create difficulties in other parts of everyday life. The following are five reasons why you should use a water conditioner if your water has a high mineral content.   Your Clothing Will Look Better Clothing that is washed in hard water quickly takes on a dingy appearance. Mineral deposits from the water don’t take long to build up on clothing, and they weakens fibers considerably, leading to fraying and a shortening of the life of your clothes. The fabric also may become hard and scratchy, and it just won’t look and feel as clean as if a water conditioner had been used. Washing clothing in soft water also means you’ll be able to get away with using less laundry detergent as well as use a lower water temperature.  Your Glassware Will Look Better It is disconcerting to be giving a dinner party or otherwise entertaining guests in your home only to have the sudden realization that your glassware is blotchy and covered in spots. You know your wine, water, and juice glasses are clean, but nonetheless, your guests may question the level of care you’ve taken while preparing to entertain them even though they pretend not to notice. You won’t have this problem while using soft water in your dishwasher.  Your Skin Will Feel Better Bathing and showering in hard water results in soap-scum residue being left on your skin, and this can leave the skin feeling red, dry, itchy, and irritated. The residue can also clog pores, and this can actually result in skin and hair-follicle infections in some cases because the soap-scum residue traps bacteria under its surface.  You Hair Will Look Better  Washing your hair in hard water will result in mineral deposits and shampoo residue that makes hair lifeless, discolored, dull, and brittle. Minerals can actually build up on the surface of your hair to the extent that you can develop a scaly film on the hair that flakes off when brushed or combed. Many people who believe they have dandruff are actually experiencing flaking due to washing their hair in hard water.  Your Housecleaning Will Be Easier  You’ll be doing a lot of extra scrubbing if you tackle household cleaning tasks with hard water. Cleaning products don’t work nearly as well when combined with hard water as opposed to soft water, and you’ll have to contend with mineral residue as well. Bear in mind that some surfaces, such as hardwood flooring, may be damaged by repeated use of hard water during cleaning procedures.    Visit sites such as to learn more about water...

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3 Tips For Saving Money When Buying A Lawn Tractor

Posted by on Jan 11, 2017 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Tips For Saving Money When Buying A Lawn Tractor

If you take care of your own lawn, then you might like the idea of having a lawn tractor that you can ride on when doing so. However, you might be a bit concerned about how much you will have to spend in order to buy a ride-on lawn mower. It’s true that some models can be expensive, but there are a few ways that you can save money. These are a few different ways that you can cut costs when buying a lawn tractor. 1. Choose a Standard Lawn Tractor  There are many different types of lawn tractors to look at, including zero-turn mowers. Zero-turn mowers can be a great choice, especially if you have a lot of grass to cut, but they can be a bit more expensive. If you stick to a more traditional lawn tractor, you can get a ride-on lawn mower that you can count on while keeping costs lower. 2. Pick a Smaller Deck Size Lawn tractors come with all sorts of deck sizes. What this refers to is the width of the deck itself, or the width of the strip of grass that the mower can cut at one time. For someone who has a very large piece of property to take care of, the cost of a mower with a wider deck can definitely be worth it, since a larger lawn mower can help the person get the job done more quickly. For more standard lot sizes, however, a lawn mower with a smaller deck is often a better choice. This is because smaller lawn tractors are typically cheaper. Plus, a mower that isn’t quite as wide can be a bit easier to maneuver around, such as if you need to maneuver around flower beds and lawn decorations. 3. Skip the Fancy Extras Some of the nicer lawn tractors out there come with fancy extras, like cupholders, radios, and more. Sure, all of these things can make cutting grass a lot more pleasant, especially if you spend a lot of time on your mower. If you’d like to keep costs low, however, skipping some of the extras can help you get a perfectly good lawn tractor that comes with a bit more reasonable of a price tag. If you are in the market for a lawn tractor and are wondering how you can save money on it, consider these three tips. If you follow them, you might be surprised by how affordable a lawn tractor can actually...

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Unique Ways to Make Your Yard a Conversation Piece

Posted by on Jan 10, 2017 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Unique Ways to Make Your Yard a Conversation Piece

If you have a quirky personality or just love to give your home and property personality and expression, then your yard is your canvas. Here are ways to give your yard a unique appeal that you and your neighbors can enjoy. Accent wooden fencing The concept of an accent fence is similar to that of an accent wall in the home: a single length of fence is given a bolder or brighter hue to draw in the eye and bring the whole look of the space together. Choose a bright or metallic hue for your back fence, such as:   goldenrod turquoise bright red copper After you have chosen your accent fence color, complement it by placing various sizes of outdoor pots around along it, some filled with flowers and others bare. This gives is a cheeky yet classic texture that can be appreciated easily. Yard art If you are into lawn decor, then you have likely seen a new style of yard art that draws the eye quickly: metal sculptures made of various recycled pieces. These artful and whimsical sculptures are commonly large flowers or shaped like animals, including alligators, butterflies, and even cats or dogs. You can place these yard art sculptures in your garden, along walking paths, or even next to your mailbox to add whimsical and childlike joy to your yard. Since these sculptures are often finished with a rust-resistant coating, you can leave them out in all kinds of weather for year-long appeal, although you may want to take them inside during the winter when snowfall makes them hard to see anyhow. If you are wanting a single piece you can show off in the yard or want to create an artful focal point, consider buying a larger piece of yard art rather than many smaller ones. Surround your chosen sculpture with low and colorful wildflowers or a ground-level spotlight to give it the recognition you desire. Place a sculpture away from large trees and side buildings so it can be a real attention grabber all on its own. Before you make any changes to your yard, make sure you plan out the design you want your decorations to be in an the type of message you want to convey. This way you will know the results are both welcoming and beautiful to look at, which can make you and your neighbors very happy. Visit flea markets, your local art galleries, and retailers like Star Imports Wholesale for inspiration to make your yard truly unique and full of vivid...

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How To Naturally Remove Hard Water Stains

Posted by on Nov 23, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Naturally Remove Hard Water Stains

Do you cringe each time you look in the mirror because your once golden locks are now a dingy orange? Is your once bright-white sweater streaked with brownish-red stains that match your tub? These problems are most likely caused by hard water. Many people have hard water in their homes, which is water that is high in mineral count, such as magnesium, calcium and iron. As water travels through soil and rocks before making its way into your pipes, it absorbs these minerals. The more of these minerals there are in the water, the “harder” it is. Effects of Hard Water Although hard water isn’t harmful to your health, it can be a headache. It makes detergents and soaps less effective, causing unsightly stains, films and spots on dishes, rust spots on laundry and orange stains on your hair. Hard water can also cause serious problems with your homes plumbing and appliances. Removing Hard Water Stains The good news is that with a little elbow grease and a few items found in most kitchens you can successfully remove hard water stains. Clean the Shower and Sink To break up the stains, place two lemons cut in half in a spray bottle, add a about one cup of water and shake. Spray the area with the lemon water and wait about 15 minutes before proceeding with the following steps: In a spray bottle, add equal parts of water and white vinegar. Spray the vinegar mix on the tile, shower doors and bathtub. Allow the mixture to sit for a few minutes, then wipe clean with a paper towel or cloth. For severe stains, make a paste from baking soda and vinegar. Spread the paste on the stains and wait 15-20 minutes, then scrub with a sponge. Rinse with warm water and towel dry. Clean the shower head: Add equal parts of vinegar and water in a plastic bag. Slip the bag over the shower head, making sure it submerged in the mix and secure with a rubber band. Leave the shower head to soak for about 30 minutes, scrub with a sponge and rinse with warm water. Clean the Toilet Pour one cup of vinegar, followed by 3 tablespoons of baking soda into the toilet bowl. Using a nylon bristle brush, swish the cleaner in the toilet bowl for a few minutes, then allow the cleaner to sit for 15-20 minutes. Using the scrub brush, scrub the surface to remove the remaining stains. Flush and repeat if necessary. Remove Rust from Blond Hair The iron content in hard water will often cause rust stains on blond hair, turning it a brassy orange color. Thankfully, the staining is typically temporary and can be treated easily with the following solution: In a small bowl, make a paste of lemon juice and cream of tartar. Wet hair; apply the paste to the hair and let sit for about 10 minutes. Rinse away the solution and wash hair as normal. The best way to prevent future hard water stains is to purchase a water softening system. A water softener is designed to remove the minerals in the water by replacing them with sodium ions. In most situations, installing a water softener system will help save you time scrubbing as well as money spent on...

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How To Apply Grout Sealant

Posted by on Oct 27, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Apply Grout Sealant

If you have tile floor in your home, you need to maintain it if you want it to look great and last a long time. The most important tile maintenance is keeping the stone and grout sealed. The grout is definitely the most vulnerable part of a tile surface. Since it is so porous, water can soak into it and get underneath the tile, leading to mold and deterioration of the mortar. No matter what type of tile you have, you will need to seal the grout every few years. This article explains the process of using grout sealant on natural stone tile. Cleaning Your Floor Before you can seal your stone and grout, you need to clean your floor as well as possible. Not only do you need to vacuum and/or mop it, but you also need to get rid of any mold. Mold is most common in bathroom and kitchen surfaces. Sometimes, there is no way of avoiding getting down on your hands and knees and scrubbing the grout with a brush and soap scum remover. What You Need for the Job Once your floor is sufficiently clean, you can get ready to apply the sealant. All you really need for the job are some rags and large sponges. But, you also need to consider what clothes you’re going to wear for the job. Since you’ll be down on your hands and knees spreading the sealant around, your pants will probably get ruined. Most sealants will stain cloth, so wear pants that you are OK with throwing away afterwards. If you are sealing an especially large surface, like your entire home, you might want to consider wearing kneepads. Soft, volleyball kneepads are a cheap solution that allow you to slide around the floor, reducing the stress on your back and knees. Applying the Sealant The best way to apply the sealant is to just pour it directly onto your floor and then spread it around with the sponges. It is okay to get the sealant all over the tile, because you will rub it off later. You want to let the sealant soak into the grout. That is, don’t just wipe it on and then immediately wipe it off with a dry sponge. In most cases you will want to apply two or three coats of sealant to your grout. After the final coat, let the sealant dry for a full 24 hours. After this period of time, you will notice that the tile has a thin haze on it. On some tiles the haze will be more visible than on others. Using slightly damp rags, you can buff out the haze. For more information, contact a company like Old World...

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Get These Landscaping Jobs Done Before You List Your Home For Sale

Posted by on Oct 27, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Get These Landscaping Jobs Done Before You List Your Home For Sale

Many people understand the importance of augmenting the look of the inside of their home before listing it for sale. Tasks such as painting, replacing worn-out flooring, and upgrading the bathroom or kitchen can all help you sell your home faster and get a higher percentage of the original asking price. It’s also important, however, to think about the exterior of your home; this is the first thing that people will see upon showing up for an open house or listing appointment, and you want to give people an instant good impression. It’s a smart investment to hire a landscaping service to handle these jobs before you list your home for sale. Resodding Your Lawn A sparse or burnt front lawn isn’t much to look at and can often give prospective buyers a bad taste in their mouth before they even climb out of the car. While you can meticulously water your lawn and try to make it lush, a better approach is to hire a landscaping service and have new sod laid down. Thick, lush sod provides an inviting look to your front yard. Additionally, because it’s new, it won’t have any dandelions or other weeds that could hinder its appearance. Cleaning Up Overgrown Vegetation Prospective buyers don’t like to see projects that will require their attention soon upon moving in, and a series of shrubs and trees that have overgrown and untidy branches can be an eyesore. The buyer will know that they will need to spend a weekend pruning and dealing with the brush, just to get the front yard looking presentable. As such, think about hiring a landscaping service to clean up any overgrown vegetation. The crew will trim your shrubs and trees professionally and dispose of the clippings to give your yard a clean look. Rebuilding Hardscape Many landscaping services are also highly adept in hardscape, which means that the crew you hire to redo your lawn and clean up your vegetation can also tackle other projects that will boost the curb appeal of your home. The crew can do things such as rebuild a front porch that is old, create an eye-catching front walkway of interlocking bricks, or even build a pond or other similar attraction in the yard. If you don’t have the budget for a new hardscape project, it’s still a good idea to have the crew do what it can to rebuild or touch up an existing structure that needs work. For more information, contact local professionals like Campbell’s Nurseries & Garden Centers...

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Questions To Answer Before Adding A Central AC Unit To Your Home

Posted by on Sep 30, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Questions To Answer Before Adding A Central AC Unit To Your Home

A new central AC unit can be just what you need to stay cool this summer, but if your home didn’t previously have central air conditioning, there are a few concerns that you will need to address first. The following guide can walk you through the process of purchasing a central system for the first time. Does your home have air ducts? If you have a central heating system that uses air ducts, it isn’t too difficult to alter them to work with an AC system. If your home runs off baseboard heating or another non-duct heating source, you will need to make sure that it’s possible to install duct work in the house. A contractor will check to see if there is sufficient space in your ceiling and walls to install suitable ducts. This can be time consuming and expensive to do, so most people with no ducts choose a different cooling option. What are the alternatives to ductwork? The most common alternative that provides the most comparable cooling and efficiency to a central AC unit is a mini-split unit. These consist of a cooling unit in the room that is hooked to a condenser unit on the outside of the house. A hose connects the two, which is where the cold air runs through and into the room. You will have no more than one or two cooling units attached to each condenser. Although a mini-split system isn’t the same as a central AC unit, it performs much the same way. Some units are even capable of providing heat as well as cooling the home. Will you need to upgrade your breaker box? Adding air conditioning, central AC in particular, puts more a of a load on your home’s electrical system. This means that the electrical panel in your breaker box must have enough room to be able to handle the installation of the AC unit. Often, older homes will have small breaker boxes that aren’t capable of supporting a central AC unit. In the event that it does not, you will have two choices – have a new breaker box installed or have a separate box installed for just the AC unit. You may need to bring in an electrician to do this work if the AC contractor doesn’t handle this type of electrical retrofitting. For more help, contact an air conditioner installation contractor in your area. Pop over to this website for more...

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3 Foods You Shouldn’t Put Down Your Garbage Disposal

Posted by on Sep 7, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Foods You Shouldn’t Put Down Your Garbage Disposal

Garbage disposals – those small incinerators that live beneath your sink – are a wonderful tool for those who value quick clean up and for those who like to keep their trash levels down. But as hardy as your garbage disposal is, there are a few foods that you should resist throwing in there, lest they gum up your disposal or even render it useless without heavy repairs or replacement. So if you’re wondering what are a few foods that should skip the disposal and go straight into the trash, then here’s a few you need to know about. Celery Celery is a delicious, watery vegetable great for cooling off in hot weather or using as a base for yummy spreads and dips – but it’s not so great for the health of your disposal. Celery is a fibrous veggie, made up of a bunch of little tiny threads bound together. You’ve likely gotten a string of celery caught in your teeth at one point in your life; imagine that strand twisting between the blades of your disposal and it’s easy to see why this is one vegetable to keep away from your garbage disposal and as close to your trash can as possible. Limes Lemons are the perfect food to put in your garbage disposal – not only does it get rid of those pesky peels in a flash, but it also makes your sink smell nice afterwards. Limes, however, are a different story; commercially sold limes have an extremely thick layer of pith in between the peel and the actual fruit, which when wet can gum up your disposal blades, making it harder for future food to travel down and be cut into tiny pieces. If you must put limes down your disposal, cut them into small pieces to make the job easier on your disposal. Coffee Grounds Another entry where the food in question smells good, it’s a really bad idea to put coffee grounds down your disposal – but not for the reason you might think. Coffee grounds actually cause no problems for your disposal itself, and can help clean off the blades; however, once the grounds get past the disposal and into your pipes, they can start causing problems. Shredded coffee grounds are just large enough (and of the right texture) that they’ll clog your drains and pipes, causing a backed-up sink and a rather large plumbing bill. Just to be on the safe side, dispose of your coffee grounds (and your limes and celery) in the trash, and avoid an emergency consultation on your pipes. For more information, talk to a professional like Angeles...

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