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Remodeling

Make Your Home Imporvement Projects Easier With This Simple Advice

Perhaps you lack confidence in your ability to tackle home improvement jobs. You just need to learn some tips. You just need to do the research, plan it out and get started with something simple. Keep reading for some helpful home improvement tips.

You can realize great savings on your kitchen remodel by simply refinishing existing cabinetry, rather than buying new cabinets. You can use some paint on the base and add new finishing knobs to really update the look. Plus, you can do this for a fraction of the cost it would take to replace them!

Figure out what your home style is prior to fixing up your residence! Knowing what your style of decor truly is will have a big impact on all of the details you select. It’s extremely tempting to switch things up a bit halfway through a project, at which point it is too late to turn back. Fixing mistakes is always more costly than doing things correctly the first time.

Use a porch light with a motion sensor to cut down on your electric bill. These types of lights can be manually turned on and the sensitivity can also be adjusted.

If you have extra building materials you can put them in your ceiling or floor. A little effort goes a long way and you can store sections of molding and other longer building materials out of your way. Nail some furring strips to two exposed rafters or floor joists, and place the material in there.

Consider padding the edges of sharp furniture if you have small children or clumsy animals. You can even turn this into a stylish do-it-yourself project. You can protect sharp furniture edges by using foam tape or buying specific child safety corner protectors. You should also be sure that any loose wiring is taped down, it can pose a choking hazard for young children.

Many homes can lose up to a fifth of their heat or cold air through the clear glass in their windows. Therefore, you can add another glaze to your windows for energy efficiency in your home.

You don’t need to live in a mansion to own a chandelier. You can get a very nice chandelier to provide a focal point in your home for a mere $500. By opting for 200 to 400 watts, your chandelier will provide brightness and sparkle to any room.

If there are a lot of repairs that need to be done to a home before you can move it, you should worry about getting the heavy repairs done first. Tackling the smaller projects such as finishing basements, updating certain rooms or painting can be done in smaller increments once you’ve moved in.

Select a color scheme that works best for your room. Using colors that work together will look the best for your dining room or living room. Complementary colors can be identified by their color wheel opposites, for example, red and green. That scheme separates colors and and is challenging to the eye yet very effective.

After reading this excellent advice regarding home improvement, you can move a bit closer to realizing your home improvement goals. Everything you’ve just read will empower you to make informed decisions and successful choices in your projects.…

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Home Renovation

Essential Suggestions For Improving Your Living Space

If you’re willing to improve your home without the assistance of professional contractors, you can get work done more cheaply than you think. There is a whole list of projects that are easy to complete independently, especially if you have the proper information and tools. Continue reading to learn how to do this.

If your current residence lacks the square footage for a washing machine and dryer, you might consider purchasing a space-saving combo unit. You can fit many combo washer-dryers in the space of a dishwasher. You can use the machine to both wash and dry your clothes.

To save yourself some aggravation, poke holes in your paint can’s rim. During use, the rim of the can can fill with paint and create spills and drips when replacing the lid. With a nail, several holes can be made in the perimeter allow the channel to stay clear.

If you’re renovating tile flooring, try getting radiant heat tiles. Radiant heat tiles use electricity to heat the tiles and keep your feet warm. You can do this yourself if you follow the instructions. You’ll be able to add this onto an existing project or do it on your own. You will enjoy radiant heat tiles especially on a cold, winter morning.

Why settle on traditional tables for your living area when you can create something distinctive and creative? An old storage chest can actually be an attractive coffee table. Throw books, accessories and magazines to accent your coffee table. You can go as far as adding a tablecloth and teacups to give it a country look.

If you are thinking about adding a wood fireplace to your home, you may want to reconsider. Apart from aesthetic reasons, this type of system is also quite inefficient because most of the heat ends up going through the chimney. In addition, a fire needs a fresh supply of air to survive and it takes it from inside your home. Your fireplace will use up a good portion of your home’s oxygen.

Paint is the foundation of any room and sets the tone – start there before planning for other elements. If you are planning on installing new floors, do any painting first. Regardless of whether or not you use protective coverings, it is almost impossible not to get at least a little paint on the floor.

Consider installing motion sensor lights to improve your homes exterior. You can save money on your electric bill. Instead of burning your lights all night, motion sensing lights only come on when they detect movement. Intruders will also think twice about approaching your home, since their presence is highlighted when the lights flick on.

One of the best and easiest ways to improve a dull and outdated kitchen is to instal a new sink. You will be amazed at the difference. New sinks come in a variety of fresh colors, giving you the opportunity to add a touch of color to your kitchen.

This article contained some great information that can help any homeowner to make their improvement project dreams a reality. Use these tips on all of the projects that you can to have the lovely home you’ve always wanted.…

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General Article

Vinyl Windows For Your Home – 5 Simple Ways You Can Tell If You’re Flushing Money Down the Drain

Vinyl Windows For Your Home – 5 Simple Ways You Can Tell If You’re Flushing Money Down the Drain

Replacing your old, inefficient windows with updated vinyl windows can have a dramatic impact on how much money you send away to the gas and electric company every month, unnecessarily. No one wants to spend more than they have to on anything and with replacement windows, it’s such an easy way to save a lot of money on the ever increasing energy costs. It’s not uncommon for people to see a savings of 30%-40% on their energy bills from the previous 12 months after replacing their old windows.

Most homeowners have a general idea that they may need to replace their windows, but they don’t realize just how bad they have become over the years (or how bad they were to begin with!). Here are the five biggest indicators that you should seriously consider new vinyl windows sooner than later:

Your window frames are aluminum (or any other type of metal). Metal is a natural conductor and it can never be as efficient as wood or vinyl windows. If you have metal windows, go put your hand close to the frame when it’s very hot or very cold outside. You will be able to feel the temperature radiating from the frame. Not good.

You have only a single pane of glass separating the inside of your home from the outside elements. Glass alone is not a very good insulator. In fact, a single pane of glass has an R value of less than 1. (R value measures resistance to heat. The higher the number, the more efficient the product. Your attic is around an R 30.) To get a much better insulation factor, you need at least two panes of glass with some form of dense gas between the panes such as Argon or Krypton. This will provide up to an R12, depending upon several factors, which will make a huge difference in your energy bills every month.

There is moisture in between the panes of glass in the vinyl windows you have right now. If there is moisture in between the panes of glass, this tells you that the seal has been broken and all the dense gas that acts as the insulation has escaped. Now you basically have two single panes of glass, and that’s it. This adds up to slightly less than an R 2 which isn’t much better than having just one pane of glass.

You have no low-E coating on your glass. How can you tell if you don’t have any Low-E coating? If the sun is shining through your windows and it feels as if you’re in sitting under a heat lamp, you don’t have this critical coating on your windows. This basically gives your home the “Green House Effect”. This might be acceptable in the winter as it can help keep things warm, but it is killing your cooling costs in the summertime. Low-E coating can make a dramatic impact on the comfort of your home.

You can feel a draft when sitting in front of a window. I’ve spoken to homeowners who have windows that are less than 10 years old who have this problem. It’s not a matter of how old your vinyl windows are, it’s the quality they are. Most builder grade windows have very poor air infiltration ratings. This means that air from the outside is literally pouring into your home at rates of several gallons per minute. This is huge in terms of money wasted during the summer and winter months.

These are the five major things to look for and are a great indicator that you should invest in some new vinyl windows sooner rather than later. Of course there are many other things to consider and not all vinyl windows are the same so choosing the right one is just as important, if not more important, as deciding to get the work done to begin with.

The world of vinyl windows is confusing and without expert guidance you can get taken advantage of very easily.…

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General Article

Home Improvment, How Not To Fix Plaster

Home Improvment, How Not To Fix Plaster

When you are a property manager for you own rentals, you learn a lot about fixing up a place. One day, a tenant called about an issue in his bathroom, he said the ceiling was drooping down a little. So I head over to assess the damage and repair. When I got there, I could hardly get the bathroom door open! The ceiling was hanging down about 2 feet, obviously a slow leak from the bathroom upstairs. I begin by cutting sections of the drywall that’s hanging down, a whole 4*8 sheet by-the-way. I thought I was doing great, I cut small sections and let them drop into a bucket. I was really doing a good job, not one mess on the floor. After about the second time I emptied the bucket, the last cut I made, must have weakened the rest of the ceiling. And here I thought I was removing weight from the board. To say the least, the entire ceiling collapsed on me, I was covered in drywall and so was the rest of the bathroom! Oh well, so much for not making a mess. From there I found what was leaking upstairs and took care of that issue. Now it was time for a new sheet of drywall and a lot of cleaning downstairs.

Well, I got the place cleaned up, at least the big pieces of drywall. Then I got the new ceiling up and got it taped and mudded. Now it was time to let it dry so I could take care of the sanding and painting. I looked over at the window sill, and saw that there was some loose plaster. Well, I thought, I might as well fix that since I’ve got to paint the whole bathroom anyway. And that’s when it got real interesting.

I took my trusty scrapper and scrapped the window sill. Well, about half of the sill fell onto the floor! I really didn’t scrap very hard. After a few more light scraps, I was missing the entire left and lower sill, not to mention a good quarter of the upper sill and even a good portion of the wall. In the meantime, my wife came by with lunch. I sent her to the home improvement store for a gallon of wood putty. (Oh, did I tell you, I was new at the time?) While I’m cleaning up my NEW mess and making the hole bigger and bigger, she runs to the store for me. She asks for a gallon of wood putty, and the guy asks her with a perplexed look “What are trying to do?” Hey, I didn’t know what else to ask for. He sent her back with a big bag of Fix-All. To this day, I love Fix-All! I think I could build a house with it after this situation. OK, now it’s time for the second repair.

Now that most of the wall is missing, it was time to start patching, or as I saw it, building a new wall and sill. I was too cheap to buy the required mesh backing that you should use for this type of project. So I ended up using an entire roll of aluminum foil that I had on hand to fill the 2 foot wide holes. It probably would have helped if I hadn’t ran out of aluminum foil half way through. Hey, I’m trying doing this cheap, remember? I found that while trying to work on the upper horizontal area of the inner window sill, gravity doesn’t help you at all! With no mesh, the goop kept bowing down like a beer gut. So, for the next 20 or so minutes I had to run my trill over it pushing the goop back up into place. Even after it began to set, I still had to trill it again and again over another 30 minutes while I began trying to sanding the ceiling.

All-and-all it went back together OK. After the sanding, cleaning, and painting, it actually looked pretty good. And it’s held up now for over 8 years. Sometimes it’s easier to do a job the right way the first time rather than fix a situation later. This time, I just got really lucky. I’ve long since learned, but sometimes you just have to do whatever it takes! Besides, who said you had to read the instructions?…

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General Article

Akron’s Top Home Improvement Project – Six Things You Should Know About Window Replacement

Akron’s Top Home Improvement Project – Six Things You Should Know About Window Replacement

Replacing the windows in your home is one the most popular home improvement projects in the Akron area. The reason is simple–homeowners receive multiple benefits from this one project. In addition to significantly lowering your energy bills, replacement windows will help increase your home’s value, improve the exterior and interior appearance, and eliminate maintenance. However, most people are overwhelmed with process of choosing the right windows for their home. Here are the top six things that will make the process easier.

1. Choose a reputable company-There are lots of resources to help you choose a good company and product. The local BBB is a good place to start. Make the sure the company is accredited by the BBB. Also, Angie’s list is another great resource. You’ll need to be a member, but you can sign up for a few dollars. Look for companies with the Super Service award on Angie’s list-they are the top 5% in the category. Finally, protect yourself and make the sure the company is licensed, bonded, insured, and the workers are covered by Workman’s Compensation. Be sure to ask.

2. The spacer material between the glass panes is the key to performance and longevity-Not all spacers, the material between the glass panes, are created equally. There are three basic types of spacers: Intercept spacers, full box metal spacers, and structural foam spacers known as Super Spacers. Choosing the right spacer will lead to higher performance and longevity for your home improvement project.

Intercept spacers are the most commonly used in replacement windows because they are inexpensive (made of tin) and are easy to manufacture. They are a U-shaped channel in between the glass. Full box metal spacers are square pieces of aluminum. They are also inexpensive to manufacture.

Although less expensive upfront, there is a downside to using metal spacers. Both intercept and full box metal spacers expand and contract, as that is the property of metal, with temperature swings. This expansion and contraction of metal spacers allows for three undesirable things to occur: colder and warmer temperatures around the edges of the panes (18.6 degrees colder than structural foam spacers), a higher occurrence of seal failure (in as little as three years as tested by the National Fenestration Rating Council–NFRC) which allows the gas to escape leading to fogged or inefficient windows, and condensation promoting mold growth.

Windows with structural foam spacers-Super Spacers-perform the best. Developed by Edgetech for NASA, this material prevents the problems associated with metal spaces above. Expect to pay more for these spaces. But the extra upfront cost is worth it.

3. Not all warranties are the same: read them-All warranties are “limited” (i.e. excludes vandalism, acts of nature) and most are “lifetime,” but not all are the same. For example, a limited lifetime warranty from a well-known big brand covers 10 years on the parts and frame, 20 years on the glass and two years on labor. Is that lifetime? There are some companies that do cover every part of the window, including labor. Look for them. If someone is willing to cover the labor for life, then it is a good bet that the window is a high quality window. Also, make the sure the warranty is fully transferable to the next owner. This will make your home easier to sell if the new owner has the peace of mind because it is one costly home improvement project they do not have to do again. Again, read, read, read the warranty. The fine print is the most important. Most information can be found online.

4. Know what window ratings mean-Choose windows that are Energy Star rated for your climate zone to get the most out of your home improvement project. Ratings do vary by climate zones. There are two basic measures used to measure for Energy Star windows: U-factor and Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC). In the Akron area, and across Northern Ohio, the U-factor should be.30 or below (the lower the number the better), the SHGC should be .35 or below.

These ratings are derived from independent testing by the NFRC and are used to determine Energy Star qualifications. The ratings are displayed on a sticker on each window.

5. Choose between vinyl, wood, fiberglass or composite frames and sashes-One of the earliest decisions for our home improvement project is to choose the type of look you want for the windows. Remember, this affects both the interior and exterior. Vinyl is by far the most popular choice for replacement windows. Except for cleaning, they are virtually maintenance free. They come in three basic colors on the inside (white, tan and brown) along with faux wood looks. Many companies also paint the exterior of vinyl …

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General Article

How To Measure Windows For Your New Blinds

How To Measure Windows For Your New Blinds

The main benefit of blinds as opposed to curtains is to keep out the strong hot sun in the summer time and let in the warm sunshine in the colder seasons. While providing beautiful accents to your windows and the room in general, window blinds also protect your furniture from being faded by strong sunlight. You can adjust them to allow light to filter into the room without allowing fading rays onto the furniture.

When ordering specialised custom blinds for the windows in your home, you will need to provide precise measurements to the company when you place your order. There are several important things to consider when measuring your windows for your new blinds. By taking special care to be precise and accurate, you will ensure the right measurements and therefore proper fitting blinds. Many custom made window blinds cannot be returned if they do not fit, so it is important that your measurements be right. Here are some important tips for ensuring your windows are measured properly:

•First, decide if your new window blinds will be inside mounted or outside mounted. Inside mounted blinds mean that the hardware will be recessed within the window opening. Outside mounted means the hardware for the blinds will be mounted on the wall outside of the window casing.

•Never assume the windows are the same size, even if they appear to be. Many windows vary just a bit here and there, enough to throw off the measurements and cause one-size-fits-all blinds not to fit.

•Use a steel measuring tape in measuring the windows. A cloth measuring tape cannot be depended upon when it comes to accuracy in measuring your windows.

•Record measurements as width x height. This is the industry standard for all window blinds and shades.

•Always, always double check your measurements to ensure accuracy. Many custom window blinds cannot be returned, so you want to be sure to get it right the first time.

•Measure window sizes to the nearest eighth of an inch.

•Never, ever measure existing blinds. Always measure the window frame, not the blinds.

If following these simple steps before purchasing your new blinds, you can be sure not to have any disappointment when fitting in the new piece of decor. Window blinds can match the room’s decor and provide a certain atmosphere while providing light control for different times of day and various activities. From living rooms and bedrooms to kitchens and family rooms, beautiful blinds with quality function are a great asset to any home.…

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General Article

A Short Guide to Window Replacement

A Short Guide to Window Replacement

Hot summer months often entail the increase of energy consumption, the same goes for cool months. Some may argue that cooler months would mean a lower energy utility bill. This can be true for some people and false for others. The reason is that people fail to realize that more energy is consumed in cold months because their window is in dire need of replacement. Now what does a window have anything to do with an increase in energy consumption? Windows that are old and outdated tend to have cracks or gaps where cold air can flow through, thus even with it shut your heater requires more energy to keep the room warm and toasty for you. Window replacements can offer you home better overall ventilation for the hot summer heat or the cold chilly winter nights.

Since we are on the matter of replacing windows, you are perhaps wondering which option is best for your home. For instance, residential windows in vinyl have some obvious advantages: the types are energy efficient and are low maintenance. They have the capability to considerably reduce noise. Last but definitely not the least, those who are worried about the impact of construction waste to the environment will be happy to know that this type of window can be recycled. Made of high R-value material, this basically entails that it is able to provide ample insulation. Its popularity is based on the fact that it’s a cost effective alternative to wood, fiberglass, and aluminum.

Considerations

If you have come to accept that you require a window replacement before the cold season kicks in, then you should select the proper window that will suit your needs perfectly. For starters, decide on the reason why your existing windows require replacement. By doing this step you will be able to determine the characteristics that you will need to have in the replacement. Qualities may include: the type of material, style, upkeep, energy efficiency, etc. Another vital aspect that should be thought of is pricing. Figure out your budget, the amount you are willing to pay for when you decide to go shopping. Additionally you must have already figured out how many pieces you are planning to replace and purchase. This will affect the total cost and also the style of window you will be able to buy.

Window Materials

Materials and style selection is important since it will play an essential role in the overall appearance of your home as well as the amount of maintenance it needs. You may select various designs and style for various spaces in your house. This again will be dependent on your personal preferences and needs. Lastly, always employ a reputable window replacement service. Take some time to conduct a bit of research, browse through reviews and look for experts, and their expertise as well as quality professional output will easily outweigh their rates. Basically if your windows are installed correctly with a design that was chosen to last you years, plus the fact that it requires very little maintenance then definitely it is worth its weight in gold, so to speak. They say that all the difference can be seen in the details and more often than not a good attitude is reflected in a person’s work.

How to Select a Window Installer

When it comes to hiring any type of service, the first thing to look into is experience. Let it not be said however that newer ventures should not be considered. However there is no debating that the continuously evolving and globalization of many ventures has caused a quick turnover through the years. This implies that while there are indeed established businesses from many years back there are constantly new ones being born to the industry every day. Setting up a business simply requires having a viable concept and a satisfactory credit score. In the field of home renovations, it is always a wiser choice to select someone who has at least five years of experience under their belts. When purchasing doors and windows, the purchase also includes the guarantees and warranty that the company provides. These services should have been already inclusive in the total cost. Some people will question the capacity of a year old venture that offers a lifetime product or installation warranty. In a legal aspect, this is their right to proclaim. On the other hand from a reputation and establishment vantage point, it is not possible. Statistically about eighty percent of startup businesses close their shops in as little as five years. With a short life expectancy, warranty is something that you should not be paying for.

Manufacturers

Window and door manufacturers fail to realize how competitive and saturated the industry already is. Moreover, they are unable …

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General Article

It’s Time to Take Another Look at Aluminum Windows

It’s Time to Take Another Look at Aluminum Windows

There are multiple options out there if you are looking for a new window. One of the more popular types is the aluminum windows. There are also the combination Aluminum windows which are aluminum on the outside, double glazing in the middle and wood on the inside. This type is becoming more and more popular and affordable every day. If you have not looked into the combination aluminum window now is a good time to check them out for your home.

Low maintenance windows are another type that you might want to look into. The durability of the aluminum windows have improved over the years. They are able to withstand the elements better and better each year. Most aluminum windows are pretty sturdy and can withstand what nature throws at them. The interior wood is treated and comes with a long lasting protective finish which makes them practical and easy to clean.

It’s easy to see the stylish look of an aluminum window. You can customize what size, configuration and shape you want so that it matches your home. The colors can be selected both for the Aluminum and the wood finishes on the inside. The low profile aluminum will not be highly visible from the inside of your house but will look very flashy on the outside. It is not hard to find a window that looks however you need and want you window to look.

As the windows are manufactured off site to fit your exact measurements the only other cost you will deal with is the instillation. They come complete with handles and fittings so you don’t have to spend extra time and money selecting these once the windows have been installed. It is even possible, if you are lucky, to fit the new windows into existing frames without having to alter existing architraves significantly.

If you are looking into getting some new windows aluminum windows should be at the top of your list. They are good looking, very cost efficient and most of the time pretty easy to install.…

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General Article

New Storm Windows Add Up to Wise Home Improvement

New Storm Windows Add Up to Wise Home Improvement

If you have old windows in your home, in all probability the old windows are leaking quite a bit of air, which makes the house chilly in the winter and costs more to cool in the summer months. Leaky windows could even be harming your house by allowing windblown rain to seep into the structure. One of the best home improvement tasks you can do as a homeowner is to install some high quality storm windows. A good storm window can fend off cold air better much better than a replacement window and it also costs less to install storm windows. You can install the windows yourself in less time than it takes to install a window.

When shopping for storm windows, be sure that you choose good quality windows. Many storm windows sold at home improvement stores are made rather poorly, with weak corners and with weatherstripping that does not fit tightly enough around the edges of the window frame. For a double-hung window, a triple-track storm window is ideal. This type of window has two glass panes and one screen, each on their own track. If you prefer to have your windows open in the summertime, you can purchase another screen sash and put it in the top of the window by taking out the pane of glass on top.

Once you have measured the windows of your home and have purchased your storm windows, you must first scrape away any built up paint if needed. Next set the storm window in place in the opening. Be sure that it is sitting square and that the windows slide open and closed with ease. If the stop on the window is narrower than the window flange, you can cute the flange using tin snippers if necessary. You will now need to drill screw holes in the flange if holes are not already there. Space the screw holes about eight inches apart. Next you should apply a good amount of silicone or window caulk along the flange along the top and the sides, but not the sill. Home improvement stores sell caulking and silicone, and it is up to you which you prefer to use. Silicone dries clear, while caulking dries white.

Now, in order for the storm window to fit, you will have to tilt it into the opening. Be sure to get it into the correct position the first time so that you do not smear the caulk. Press the flanges into the caulk to ensure that it seals all along the sides as well as the top. Next you must put a screw into the middle of the top flange and into the side flanges near the bottom. Make sure that the window is aligned correctly before driving the remaining screws. Scrape the caulk away that has leaked out due to the pressure applied. For the bottom of the storm windows, you should drive screws into the sill on each side, but be sure to put the screws in on an angle. Apply caulk or silicone along the flange at the sill, wipe away any excess and you are done!…