Landscape Management

Exterior Home Services

Repairing and Replacing Home Glass

In one of our previous articles we talked about how to keep your house cool in warm climates and we wanted to add onto this topic by discussing proper glass repair. A lot of homes have windows that need to be replaced or repaired in order to keep their home a constant temperature. If your home is over 15 years old and has never had their windows maintained then you are probably in need of window service. This doesn’t mean that you need to go and replace every single window in your home. Some windows may just need a little repair.

Rotted Window FrameThere are a few common issues in old windows that fall under the category of repairing. If you notice that your frame’s paint is peeling or the wood is rotting then you will need to repair them. When the paint peels then it will decrease the image of your home and make it look cheap. You will have much bigger issues if the wood begins to rot because that will cause air to flow in and out of your home more freely. This will increase the amount of energy and cost of your heating and cooling every year.

chipped glassSometimes there may be issues with the actual glass of your windows like a broken pane, chipped or cracked glass. There are many different DIY remedies, like using clear nail polish, to fix your home glass – but these are very short term fixes. The best course of action is to have the chipped or cracked pane replaced with custom cut piece of glass. You can find many great glass companies that will be able to assist you with any type of glass repair that you would need.

The energy efficiency of your glass could also be a factor that causes your home energy costs to rise. Over time the coating that protects your home from UV rays dissolves or wears off. In this case it is best to replace the window rather than repair it. If you do replace your windows then I would suggest purchasing windows with Low-E Glass and you can take advantage of:

  • Lower sunlight exposure to your home furnishings
  • Increased light, but less heat
  • Lower amount of glare
  • Lowered energy costs

With Low-Emissivity Glass has become very popular in homes and is almost a common practice for most window companies to use this on their products. You could also use insulated glass, which will help maintain a consistent temperature in your home during the winter and summer months.

All information regarding Low-E Glass and Insulated Glass was found on http://www.glassdoctor.com/philadelphia/HomeGlassRepair/Windows.html

Top Wood Fence Materials

wood fence typesIf you are looking to build a wooden fence yourself or are trying to hire a company to install it, one of your final decisions will be which wood to use. Though many people don’t realize it upfront, there are actually quite a few different types of woods used to construct fences. All have different characteristic such as colors, prices, and levels of durability so its very important to do your research and choose the right type of wood upfont. That said; here are my top three types of wood for fences all offered by these Houston fence builders experienced in Texas fence installations.

1. Cedar is a solid choice often picked for its beauty. Its very low maintenance and is a natural repellant of bugs. It comes in different shades depending on the shade and variety of cedar. One possible downside is that it is on the more expensive side when it comes to privacy fencing materials.

2. Cypress is my second favorite choice and another popular option. Like cedar, insects in the area wont be attracted to it. Cypress falls in about the same price range as well. Its easy to work with and cut because it does not have many knots like some other types of wood.

3. Finally there is pressure treated wood which is usually made from a type of pine. People like this option because it is often much less expensive than other alternatives. While pine may not be the most long lasting wood on its own, when treated it becomes much more durable and resistant to the outdoor elements.

The type of wood you will be using depends largely on the part of the country you live in, your budget, and personal taste. Never the less its important to know there are different options out there so definitely shop around. I recommend taking a close look at these three I have highlighted as I have found them to be the best from my experience.

Home Carpet Cleaning Tips

my clean white living room carpetsEveryone needs a few good carpet cleaning tips which they can easily employ within their home for fast and effective results. Some of the most effective tips are listed below. If these don’t work and you live in the Hampton Roads area near VA Beach or Norfolk, I recommend Chem-Dry of Virginia Beach a professional carpet and rug cleaning service.

  1. Probably the most underestimated of all is the humble vacuum cleaner. A thorough vacuuming can provide with an amazing result, lifting off a lot of dirt surrounding a stain, greatly reducing its size.
  2. Conduct your own carpet cleaner by mixing a tablespoon full of fabric softener, a tablespoon full of bleach free all – purpose household cleaner, two tablespoons full of ammonia and dissolve it in two cups of water. It softens your carpet eliminating all stains and foul odors.
  3. You can also dissolve a capful of liquid dishwashing detergent in a cup of water. Then, using a sponge scrub away at the stain. Wash out the detergent using a minimal amount of water.
  4. Mix vinegar and baking soda to form a thick pasty substance. Dissolve this in a bucket of warm water and apply this to the stained area and let it sit for about fifteen minutes. Finally, dry your carpet with a vacuum cleaner and voila, your stain has vanished.
  5. Even using club soda directly on a stain has proven to be an effective remedy for tough stains. Pour club soda over the stain, wait for a few minutes and vacuum dry. This, however, may not work for all stain types.
  6. Many popular glass cleaners like Windex may also work wonders. Just spray it over the stain, wait for five minutes and use a vacuum to dry it off.

Be sure to try these nifty carpet cleaning tips on a small inconspicuous area of the carpet to ensure that the solutions listed above don’t adversely affect the colors of your carpet. Find more around the house tips here, and also keep reading for more home and landscaping information.

3 Time Savers for Busy Households

As a busy homeowner with a family, you are probably always looking for ways to save yourself time and make your household more organized and easier to manage. If you are anything like me, you are probably already pretty good at some aspects of efficiently managing your home but could still use a lot of help. Recently I have devoted some time to finding new ways to make my day to day life a little bit easier. That said; I wanted to share 3 great ways I found to help manage everything. Two are services, and one is just a way for me to prepare in advance for the next day.

  1. maid service for cleaning the houseHire a maid or cleaning service. While most people might roll their eyes at this, because its either something obvious they already do or something they don’t think is affordable, it has really helped me. In the past I was always the type to do things myself including cleaning my home, which I still do but hiring a maid service just once a month has been both affordable and makes a huge difference in my home. They take care of the scrubbing and so I can focus more on keeping things organized.
  2. Hire a pooper scooper service. By far the most unusual service on my list, this is actually my favorite. With 3 dogs it can be difficult to pooper scoop for the yard every my dogs appreciating doody calls pooper scooper servicessingle day without missing anything. But by hiring a dog poop, or pet waste removal service as some people call it I can keep my yard clean, sanitary and free from surprises when im walking around or playing catch with the kids.
  3. Preparing clothes and breakfast for the next day. Another thing that sounds simple but is a huge help is always ironing my clothes and preparing breakfast the day before. I also do this for my kids and it changes mornings from the most stressful time of the day to enjoyable family time. Try it yourself and your mornings will be so much happier, something you can take with you throughout the day.

I hope you have found these tips to be helpful, please feel free to write back and share the thing you do to make managing your household easier. Also check out my earlier post on how to stay comfortable in your home, its another way to save money and enjoy your time with your family even more.

Benefits of Solar Winfow Film

residential solar film tintIf you are on the fence about getting car window tint or maybe you are looking for more information on the benefits of window tint, then this article will be very helpful. Before you get your window tinted make sure you look up your state law on window tinting. For example, I live in Virginia and the law only allows clear, colorless, and transparent material to be applied to the front driver and passenger side for reducing ultraviolet rays. Different states have different laws on the type of window tint and the location of the tint; so check out your state laws before investing window tint. If you live in the Richmond area of VA, I suggest checking out Solar Film VA for residential window tinting installation or questions. Below is a list of the benefits of having window tint so you can make a more informed decision.

Prevent interior color fading. Harmful UV rays will dull the color of the interior of your car dashboard and seating. By purchasing window tint you will increase the longevity of your car’s interior. This is very beneficial if you plan on selling your car in the future because it will make the inside of your car more appealing to buyers.

Reduce sun glare. Sometimes sunglasses can only help so much when you are driving. With car window tinting you will prevent the amount of sun glare that shines through your windows. Window tinting also helps with night driving because it helps block out other drivers headlights. This is very beneficial because it allows you to see more easily while driving allowing for safer travel.

Protect your personal belongings. Are you constantly having to lock up your personal electronics in glove boxes or putting items out of sight? Window tint prevents your personal belongs from being seen by malevolent passer-byers. This will help prevent people from breaking into your vehicle because they see your MP3 player or wallet through the window.

One final benefit of having your window tinted is safety. Window tinting can prevent your windows from shattering when you get into a car accident. This is very beneficial for a window tint prospect because it prevents shards of glass from flying around the car when in an accident. I hope this information was helpful for you in making a decision about purchasing window tint for your car.

Avoid Freezing Pipes in Minneapolis MN

Keep Your Pipes Warm

Some of the coldest cities are the most beautiful. Snowy mountain landscapes and crisp air are benefits to living in a northern city like Minneapolis MN. However, things like frozen pipes can be a big issue in the winter time. To avoid this issue, take all of the necessary precautions to keep your house functional and comfortable for you.8384681500_3778527d5f_z

Why Worry?

It may seem like a frozen pipe is a quick fix- just warm the area until the ice melts or break up the blockage. However, a frozen pipe could cause more than a blocked passage for your water. When water freezes, it expands and puts excessive pressure on a pipe. This could lead to cracking or an issue that causes serious repairs in or around your home.

Precautions

-          The first precaution you should take is to keep your house warm. You may be accustomed to turning down the temperature to be more comfortable at night or to turn the heat off completely when you leave for any sort of trip. Whether or not you are actually home, your house needs to be kept at a reasonable temperature to keep pipes from getting too cold.

-          One area where pipes can easily freeze is inside cupboards. When the doors are shut for too long, the cold air is trapped inside and can damage the pipes.

-          Another way to make sure your pipes keep a healthy water flow is to make sure there aren’t any cold spaces in your home. Add insulation to your attic or your basement- especially if you know that there are popes running close to these areas.

-          Finally, always call a plumber in Minneapolis for regular home inspections to see if you are at risk for frozen pipes. A plumber like Mr. Rooter can quickly analyze your home’s situation and determine whether are not your pipes are likely to freeze.

As always, simple checks and regular home maintenance are always a great way to ensure that homes stay healthy. This is the best way to avoid expensive repairs, like a cracked pipe due to a cold winter in Minneapolis MN. Remember that it is also not always safe to make repairs on your own. If your sink isn’t spouting water properly, it’s likely that the pipes in the cupboard are frozen. However, holding a blow drier up the pipe to melt the blockage can be dangerous, and it is always best to call a professional in these situations.

Are Andersen Windows the Best Looking?

Why I Chose Aesthetically Pleasing Windows

wood window in kitchenYour probably aware that every home is unique, each having different colors, characteristics and coming from a certain time period. The problem is most replacement window companies treat every house like it’s a cookie cutout of the next. They sell and install pre manufactured windows with limited color options, already fit to the size they think you window frame measures. But what happens if the generic measurements are a little bit off? And do you really want the same generic windows in a dull color that are on the average home?

Maybe the answer is yes but for the rest of the population there is the renewal by Andersen company, window installers who see the value in creating a custom product that suits your home perfectly. There are several things that set them apart from the average window manufacturer, as I learned from visiting the Andersen window location in Massachusetts. First off is the variety. They have almost 50 different color combinations for both the interior and exterior window frames. Along with over 10 hardware options, many grille styles that are made specifically to match a certain house style they have you covered no matter what look you are going for.

andersen color options for windowsSo we know they have the option out there for you but what else makes Andersen different? The customer service is second to none. They offer no risk, in home consultations where you can speak with an expert about the perfect window replacements. For a person like myself who at fist knew nothing about what I wanted, this was a huge help. After making a purchase I felt confident in knowing I made one I could enjoy for years to come and that would increase the value of my home long into the future. If you are in the market for new windows like I was but don’t want to settle for average, take a look at the Anderson windows and you may not have to look anywhere else.

Keeping Your House Cool in Warm Climates

Moving to a city with a new climate? When shopping for a home in a warm, sunny area, there are several characteristics you should look for (or consider adding) to your home. Avoid being miserable in the heat, especially if you are not used to it where you are currently located.

First of all, make sure there is a pool nearby. Whether it is a pool in your own backyard, a neighborhood or community pool, or a country club up the road, this is a great way to cool off. When you feel like you are cooped up inside in the air conditioning, you are going to want to get out for a while. If it is muggy outside, the only way to really get out and stay comfortable is to go to the pool.

houseSecondly, keep your house a cool temperature. Even in an area with an average climate, like Northern VA, make sure you invest in an air conditioning unit that will keep your house comfortable.

Another way to keep your house cool is to consider window tinting in Northern VA or any city where you are going to live. Not only do tinted windows keep out harmful UV rays, they can also prevent damaged furniture, reduce glare, and maintain the temperature in house by cutting down on the greenhouse effect.

Also, make sure that your windows are fitting properly. Extreme heat can change the shape of a window frame over time, creating gaps and cracks that let the heat in and the air conditioning out. Buy a replacement window that is custom fit to your home’s dimensions to ensure a tight fit and a comfortable temperature.

Living in a warm area can be nice as long as you find ways to stay cool. Avoid snow storms and spend your evenings or mornings outside on your porch.

Patio Doors and an Unexpected Landscaping Design

Want to create your own over-sized outdoor chess board like something straight out of a movie? Here is some inspiration and how I created my very own patio oasis in Chesterfield VA.

Patio Doors Chesterfield VA

First, I framed the outside of my patio with 2×4 lumber and framed out each inside square dimension to be 16’x16’ and ran eight rows by eight columns. Make sure you use stakes to secure your lumber so it sits 4 inches high and level. Add a screw every 2 feet on all sides of the frame. Create a grid pattern by running lines from one end to the other, which cross at 2 foot intervals.

Since a regulation chess board is made of 64 alternating squares, you will build a 32 frame pattern. Half of the squares are going to be grass, and half are going to be filled with cement. Be precise here and make sure all of your frames are measuring an even 2 feet by 2 feet.

Next, starting in the corner, install the first frame. When setting the frame, make sure it aligns right up against the outside perimeter frame. Install the stakes on the inside of the frame. Have the frame come up to the height of the string line already in place. Install one of these square frames in every other box in the framed grid. Next, pour in the concrete into the desired squares that do not have stakes within. About 24 hours later, once the concrete has hardened, remove the wooden frames.

Lastly, install the proper sod to allow for a low maintenance patio. To help blend the patio with the landscape, install a lower maintenance sod throughout the remaining patio space. To finish off your patio oasis, install Andersen gliding patio doors so you can enjoy your new landscape inside and out. Gliding patio doors allow for the maximum glass exposure to capture the best view of your new landscaped lawn. Click here for more information on where you can purchase patio doors in Chesterfield VA and the surrounding areas.

How to Find a Licensed Plumber in Boise

Got Clogged Drain’s

Imagine this… you get out of bed, brew some coffee, and go to take an enjoyable morning shower. Now you realize you’re standing in a 5 to 6 inches of standing water. The drain seems to be open, but nothing is draining. You’ve got a real problem.

Call a local plumber

You hop on the internet after cutting your shower short, and begin the quest for a plumbing company that can come out before the end of the day. In a city like Boise, there should be enough plumbers nearby to choose from. The difficult can be just that though… who is going to do a good job and will charge a fair rate? Call at least 2 of the companies you find that come well recommended from people you know or users on review sites like Angie’s List our Houzz.

What to do next?

Once you have a few plumbing companies like Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Boise in mind, it is of upmost importance to see that they are licensed, bonded, and insured. Usually companies boast about things like this on their website, but you can also call and ask them specifically about their qualifications. Plumbers in Boise that have these kinds of accolades will cover you if there is any accident that causes a catastrophe. Nothing is worse than expecting to pay $500 dollars for a plumbing repair and ending up paying $5,000. Take the time to find a company that will protect you from these emergencies.

Ready to hire

Now that you’ve taken all of the necessary precautions in doing research, schedule a service visit and enjoy the tranquility of knowing you’ll be charged a fair rate to get your drain cleaned and working again.

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