Category: Home Maintenance


Home Landscaping Tips To Save Energy

If you have been thinking about how you would like to cut your home energy costs, you might want to take a second look at your home landscaping. This is an area you may not have even thought of. Did you know energy-efficient home landscaping can reduce your household’s energy consumption for heating and cooling by as much as 25 percent.! That’s staggering, isn’t it? Proper placement of trees, shrubs, vines, grasses, and hedges lets you modify the microclimate around your home to maximize shade during the summer and reduce wind chill during the winter. Energy-efficient home landscaping is one of the best investments you can make, because aside from its potential to increase the resale value of your property, it can generate enough savings to return your initial investment in less than eight years. It is not surprising then that more homeowners than ever are implementing energy-conserving home landscaping ideas on their property. Where can we begin with this exciting new landscaping adventure? I hope the following information will be of help to you.

Develop a Home Landscaping Plan for Energy Efficiency
There are countless home landscaping strategies for energy conservation, but not all of them may be appropriate for your property and climate zone. Before you plant those evergreens in your backyard, make an assessment of the comfort and energy shortcomings of your current home landscaping. Things like the property’s microclimate, house location, and the presence of surrounding structures will influence your energy-efficient home landscaping plan. Microclimate is the climate immediately surrounding your home, and along with the regional climate, it helps determine which plants and trees will thrive and provide the best energy-saving benefit to your home landscaping. Your home’s location affects your dwelling’s exposure to the sun, wind, and water, consequently shaping your home landscaping needs. Nearby buildings, walls, trees, and bodies of water can produce significant climatic effects that would impact your home landscaping strategies. A thorough analysis of your property’s features enables you to devise an energy-efficient home landscaping scheme that addresses your needs and goals.

Landscape to Maximize Shade
Properly planned home landscaping can reduce your air-conditioning costs in the summer by providing shade from the hot morning and afternoon sun. Deciduous trees (trees that shed their leaves in winter) provide shade in the summer when its leaves are in full bloom and warm the home in winter by letting low-angle winter sun filter through its bare branches. Home landscaping that maximizes shade can reduce temperature inside the home by as much as 8 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit. Would you think of shading your air-conditioner through home landscaping because that increases the unit’s efficiency. In addition, shading the ground and pavement with trees, shrubs, and groundcover plants reduces surrounding air temperatures. Other heat-reducing home landscaping ideas include building a trellis for climbing vines to shade a patio and planting a row of shrubs to shade a driveway.

Landscaspe for Wind Protection
Home landscaping to divert the flow of cold winds helps cut down your home heating costs in the winter. Trees, shrubs, bushes, walls, and fences make effective windbreaks for winter-protected home landscaping. You can achieve adequate wind protection through home landscaping by planting evergreen trees and shrubs along the north and northwest areas of your property. Windbreaks can decrease wind speed for a distance as much as 30 times its height, although maximum wind protection occurs at a distance of two to five times the mature height of windbreaks. For optimal wind protection, make sure that the foliage density on the windward side of your property is 60 percent. A well-designed home landscaping provides energy savings year-round. Enjoy the warmth of the winter sun by not planting evergreens too close to the south side of your home. Shrubs, bushes and vines planted close to your house create dead air spaces that insulate your home in both winter and summer.

I hope this article has been of help to you in creating landscaping for energy conservation. Reducing my household energy consumption by a possible 25% has motivated me to start looking around my yard.

Foreclosure Home Maintenance

Foreclosure House Maintenance

Many individuals do their finest to keep up with house upkeep to make their day-to-day living better and more enjoyable as well as secure the investment they made in their house. Individuals who are facing foreclosure normally have fewer resources to invest on house upkeep, so, generally; houses in foreclosure need home maintenance even more so than other houses do.

In addition to the small repairs that most houses require, foreclosure house upkeep may include repair works that go beyond the typical handyman-special repair works that are a normal part of owning, buying, or selling a home.

Almost any house, foreclosure house or otherwise is going to have some or all of these common home repair work needs:

– Holes in walls– it is quite common to see little holes in drywall. They must be repaired if there are any in your house.
– Cracks– great deals of houses have fractures in the pathways or on walls or on flooring or bathroom tiles. Those are hardly even noticeable when you live with them day in and day out, but others who are looking to buy a home notification things like that immediately.
– Leaks– If your cooking area or bathroom faucets leak, they should be repaired.
– Improperly fitted doors– Sometimes the doors of kitchen area cabinets or
– Bathroom vanities don’t close exactly correctly. Typically, changing a hinge will suffice.

You are nearly definitely guaranteed to be taking on foreclosure house maintenance if you mean to invest in an REO property. The above small repairs are most likely to be a part of the plan, and you also may deal with more major repair works. Foreclosure home upkeep requires frequently include:

1. Roofing system repair
2. Structure repair
3. Major device repair or replacement
4. Window replacement
5. Wood rot replacement

Although the idea of needing to do major repair works might seem challenging, the price of foreclosed property may make the investment in foreclosure house repair work worth the cost and effort. Naturally, you must beware and look for expert advice before buying any residential or commercial property, foreclosed or otherwise or in requirement of repair work or not.

When you do become a homeowner, whether you acquire an REO property or make a more traditional purchase, you must constantly keep your house’s value as high as possible by staying up to date with repair works and upkeep, but given that the entire reason behind foreclosures is monetary, you ought to expect your foreclosure home purchase to come with a list of foreclosure home upkeep concerns.

A lot of individuals do their finest to keep up with home maintenance to make their everyday living better and more satisfying as well as safeguard the investment they made in their house. Individuals who are facing foreclosure normally have fewer resources to spend on house maintenance, so, generally; houses in foreclosure need house upkeep even more so than other homes do.

If you plan to invest in an REO property, you are nearly definitely guaranteed to be taking on foreclosure house upkeep. The above minor repairs are most likely to be a part of the package, and you likewise might face more significant repairs.

Get Rid of Fleas in Your Home

If you have an itch to take care of your home, here is news you need to know. Flea populations are on the rise and are hatching into homes across the nation, according to professional pest control companies that are noticing a significant increase in professional flea treatments.

Fleas are hungry, unparticular parasites that will feast on any warm-blooded body, including you! If you or your pets are scratching up a storm, it is time to call a professional pest control company to properly identify the cause and treat the problem quickly and effectively.

Fleas and flea-infested animals were the cause of the bubonic plague, which wiped out much of Europe during the Middle Ages. While the plague is an extremely rare disease today, fleas also transmit a bacterial disease, murine typhus, to humans through infected rats, as well as result in itchy, painful red bumps on the host they feed on.

The National Pest Management Association offers these tips to help keep fleas from bothering your pets and invading your home:

• – Clean and vacuum frequently. Not only will this help to pick up fleas that have already entered your home but it helps to get rid of the debris fleas enjoy using when preparing to lay eggs.

• – If adult fleas are found, then it is probable there are hundreds of eggs laid about your home. These eggs can take seven to 14 days to hatch and the infestation cycle will continue. Contact a pest management professional to rid your home of both adult fleas and larvae.

• – Keep your lawn groomed. Untended lawns provide hiding spots and food sources for rodents and other animals that may harbor fleas.

• – Fleas hitch rides with mammals on the move, including rodents. If you have a rodent problem in your home or on your property, fleas are one more reason to call a professional pest control company to rid your home of both.

• – If you have pets, keep them leashed when outside. Visit a veterinarian annually, bathe and groom your pets regularly, and use flea treatments according to direction.

Why Is Residence Routine Maintenance Important?

The house is one from the very most important financial investments that folks regularly make in lifestyle, thus home servicing is actually very importanat. It will definitely benefit us to take care of this great financial investment that we have actually produced. Preventative upkeep will benefit resident. Than to keep like that, later you begin devoting your cash and also time for keeping your house. So this will definitely be better for you the residence owner to company a qualified for maintenance, so that she or he will examine your house once in a while. Preventative servicing from your residence will make you prevent repair services, reduce electricity consumption, time lost, as well as this will definitely also extend the lifestyle span from your home.

The routine examination or even tracking of your residence through a specialist or a property qualified agent for residence maintenance, along with whom you have organize with to become assessing your roof covering from leakages, wall surfaces from cracks, etc. is a great, to ensure that, any type of negligence understood that will definitely be repaired immediately. Than to permit your property without routine evaluation, eventually select the purchasing of materials in large quantities, which will be actually so expensive for you the homeowner.

This is quick and easy to perform normal assessment and maintenance. Some parts or equipments requirement basically regular examination. If routine maintenance is actually carried out in any kind of portion of your house, that will definitely be actually much better that keep in mind ought to be utilized where the repairs were done and when this was actually carried out. To ensure, proper treatment ought to be utilized. Home owners need to make certain they try to find expert home upkeep examiners, than to become getting the job done themselves.

For the overall inspection of the external component of the property (Outdoor).

1) The rooftop ought to be actually inspected for damages and missing tiles. Electrical cords must be actually properly shielded if they are passed on the roof covering. Plant branches ought to be actually reduced off the rooftop. And also the helps from tv antennas as well as dish antenna must be checked.

2) Seamless gutters and Downspout should be actually looked for clog and also leak as a result of to corrosion. Downspout joint must be actually examined.

3) Walls should be actually assessed, if there are actually fractures and also separating. And also wall surface constructed along with hardwood needs to be actually checked for loose or damages panels.

4) The groundworks ought to be actually evaluated if there are gaps on that.

5) Doors and Microsoft window need to be actually checked out, if they need to have any type of substitute from glasses or even door padlock.

6) The chimney must be actually evaluated for damaged blocks or loose mortar signs up with. If this is actually a metallic smokeshaft this should be inspected for corrosion and missing rainfall limit

The power links must be actually evaluated constantly through an electrical contractor, thus, in order to avoid existing leakages. The primary door needs to be actually checked constantly if all the fuses are in spot as well as if the appropriate rankings from the merges are utilized. The earth wires need to be actually evaluated if there are actually grounded. As well as loose cables should be hooked up to their due terminals.

A service technician must be in spot that is going to examine the cooling/heating heating system from your home when the season comes off leaks. All various other home heating or even cooling tools in our home need to be checked out for problems or leakage.

A plumber must consistently evaluate the water pipes for leaks. The drain device from the residence need to be actually evaluated to steer clear of obstructions. Toilets must be actually examined adequately.

All this info concerning the servicing of different negligences that might develop in you property ought to be performed by an experienced service technician, that is specialist in that industry.

Refinishing a Hardwood Floor

Do It Yourself; Refinishing a Hardwood Floor

Refinishing hardwood floors is something that you can do yourself without paying professionals high amounts of money to do it for you. However, you do need to have time to spend on your refinishing project to make sure that you end up with the effect you want to achieve. Many places that rent equipment have the heavy-duty sander that you need for the refinishing job. To start to refinish hardwood floors, you first have to move all the furniture and take up any rugs or mats that you have on the wood floors. When refinishing hardwood floors, you also need to wear a dust mask so that you won’t breathe in the dust.

When you find out how to refinish hardwood floors, older wood floors can be restored to their former glory. When you search online, there are many books you can buy on the subject of refinishing hardwood floors and you can also get valuable information. You do need to have a heavy- duty sander that you move gently back and forth over the wood floors. It is best to move in a straight line with the pattern of the hardwood boards instead of going across, especially if the hardwood has a bevelled edge with small grooves. Because you could take gouges out of the floor, you also have to be mindful not to apply more pressure in one place that in another.

You have to sweep or vacuum up the dust and give the floor a light washing once you have the initial finish sanded off. This is an important part of refinishing hardwood floors because the least little bit of dust and dirt will show up when you apply the stain and finish. In the information you have about how to refinish wood floors, you will find out that you should only use a damp mop to wash up the floor. Excess water, especially on the sanded hardwood, will cause stains in the floor.

When you dry the floor, then you are ready for the next stage of refinishing hardwood floors. You can choose to stain the wood floor in different colors suited to the type of wood. You may want to leave the wood in its natural color, but when you read about how to refinish hardwood floors, you will also learn about the need for a protective coating. The polyurethane coating adds protection to the floor. You can choose a coating that will give you a gleaming floor or one that has a low lustre. When refinishing wood floors, it is essential that the first coat is dry before you apply another coat. The more coats you put on, the shinier your floors will be.

Refinishing wood floors is a time-consuming project. However, it does not mean that you have to move out of the home until you complete the refinishing. The coatings for refinishing hardwood floors do not have any strong fumes that may be dangerous for anyone with respiratory problems. The only thing you have to remember is not to walk on the floor until the finish is dry. If you do, your refinishing project will have your footprints all over it– in more ways than one.

Improving the Air Quality in Your Home

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), indoor air may be four to five times more polluted than outdoor air. With Americans spending nearly 90 percent of their time inside, indoor air quality is often taken for granted.

Allergens such as pollen, animal dander, dust mites, cockroaches and mold; irritants such as smoke, chemical odors and dust; and biological pollutants such as viruses and bacteria swirl in, often causing headaches, stuffy noses, tickly throats, nagging coughs, wheezing, shortness of breath, itchy eyes and more.

The average home has 72 trillion allergens floating in the air. “No matter how often you clean, those tiny little particles can get into your loved ones’ lungs, triggering allergies, asthma and a variety of other respiratory ailments. There are things you can do to make the air in your home better,” says John Spengler, Ph.D., professor of environmental health and human habitation at the Harvard School of Public Health.

Discourage mold growth. A musty smell or mold spots should sound an alarm. Replace missing grout, and repair or replace leaky faucets and pipes immediately. Use a mold-proof shower curtain, and wipe shower walls and tub toys dry after use.

Install a whole-house air cleaner. Professors from the Harvard School of Public Health recognize whole-house systems, such as Trane CleanEffects, as an effective way to remove triggers for allergies and asthma. The central air cleaning system removes up to 99.98 percent of particles down to.3 microns-as small as 1/300th the diameter of a human hair. The system is 100 times more effective than the standard 1-inch filter found in most home central heating and cooling systems.

Minimize dust mites. One ounce of dust can carry up to 40,000 dust mites. Wash bedding weekly in hot water (130 degrees F or higher).

All About Storage Sheds

If you own a house, at some point the need for extra storage space soon becomes evident. Arguably the most common solution is to purchase a storage shed. There are hundreds of options and styles available, but taking the time review these 5 key steps will enable you to make a smarter decision.

1. What is the primary function of the shed? In most cases, storage space is the key requirement, so figure out how much space is needed. A small 4 ′ x 8 ′ lean-to style provides sufficient space for small tools, but larger items do require more space. I strongly recommend choosing the largest size that you can afford, which still blends in with your landscape. Remember that most municipalities require building permits for any building over 100 sq. ft.

2. Is the shed going to play a prominent role in your day to day activities? If so, make sure that you choose a style and options that give you good access and provide adequate lighting. Windows and skylights provide plenty of natural light, but it is common to run electricity to the shed. For easy access, make sure that the doors are at least 34 ″ wide, as most lawn mowers will easily pass through.

3. How important is the look of the shed to my property. Remember that anything you erect will either impair or add on your property value. Metal and vinyl are the least expensive options, but these tend to look ordinary. Wood and pre-finished sidings normally add character and value, but are usually more expensive.

4. Consider the grade and accessibility of the location. A level site is the starting point for all shed construction The greater the grade, the more work needs to be done. Typically a grade of 6 ″ or less over the dimension of the shed can be compensated for by using patio stones, especially for smaller units. In areas faced with frost upheaval or poor drainage, it is recommend that at least 6 ″ of topsoil be removed and filled with screening stone (1/2 ″ or smaller gravel is also acceptable).

5. Be considerate to your neighbors! Don’t put up something that belongs in a junkyard beside your neighbor’s manicured backyard. Most municipalities require that storage sheds be 2 ft from the fence or property line, so be sure to check ahead of time to avoid any aggravation. Talk to your neighbors about your intentions– 99% of the time they will appreciate your concern and be very supportive of your project.

The internet is an excellent source for information on the hundreds of styles and suppliers available. , if ordering online be sure to read the warranty and returns information carefully as often goods of this nature can not be returned.. Just because a company has a fancy website it does not mean it stands behind its product– try searching for articles or information on the particular company. Most companies offer either pre-fabricated or pre-cut kits delivered to your residence. If choosing a fully installed product, deal with a local company with a fixed location (avoid the ones that set-up at seasonal locations), and again be prudent with your research. I strongly recommend avoiding companies that require more than a 30% deposit– you’ll end up waiting longer than you should. A storage shed is an important purchase– a little research will go a long way in helping making the right decision.