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Tips To Help You Easily Take Care Of Your Granite Countertops

Posted by on Aug 22, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tips To Help You Easily Take Care Of Your Granite Countertops

Granite counters are not cheap so you will want to make sure that you are caring for them in the best way possible. To help you do this, you will want to read through the following tips. Do Not Place Hot Pots And Pans Directly On The Granite While it may be true that granite can withstand the heat of hot pots and pans, you will still want to make sure that you are placing a trivet on the counter and placing the hot dishes on that. The reason for this is that if there is any dirt or grit on the surface of the counter or under the pot or pan, the heat and pressure can cause the debris to scratch the surface of your granite counter. Never Use Generic Bleach Or Household Cleaners It is important to make sure that you are sticking with cleaners that are made specifically to be used on granite surfaces. The reason for this is because a lot of the other generic cleaners out there contain alkalis, acids, and other chemicals that can ruin the seal on the granite. When that seal is degraded, the counter becomes more prone to staining. Do Not Stand Or Sit On The Counters While it is true that granite is a stronger material than the cheaper laminate options that are available, it is not as flexible. This means that too much weight or pressure on one area of the granite counter can cause it to crack. If your granite counter cracks, there is no real way to repair it. It will need to be replaced by another solid piece of granite. Blot Up All Spills Right Away  Even if there is a sealant on your granite counters, you will want to quickly blot up any liquid spills. Liquids such as coffee, wine, soda, and fruit juice are very acidic and can quickly stain your counters. You do not want to find out that your sealant for the granite was wearing down and it needed to be resealed because you accidentally stained the surface of the counter. With those four suggestions in mind, you should find that it is much easier to take great care of your granite counters. The better you care for them, the longer they will last before you will ever have to worry about needing to replace them. For more information, contact local professionals like Artisan Granite &...

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How To Improve The Function Of Your Central Air

Posted by on Jul 26, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Improve The Function Of Your Central Air

A home central air conditioner system is dependent on several elements. The condenser (which you might call the air conditioner), furnace, evaporator, ducts and air registers are all key to good airflow and energy efficiency in your building. The condenser unit is the only part of the system that is outside of the building. As a result, it can get dirty and normal operation can be hampered. It is very important to clean your condenser unit on a regular basis. It is smart to clean it at the end of every winter, before you start running your AC on a daily basis. This article explains a few basic cleans to do before starting your AC for the season. Keep It Covered First of all, your job will be much easier if you kept your condenser covered with a vinyl or plastic cover. Condenser covers are cheap and they will preserve the life of your unit. If you don’t have one, at least cover your unit with a plastic sheet or tarp until you invest in one. Clean Out the Main Compartment First, you want to clean out the main unit that houses the fan. This is right in the center and it can be accessed by removing the bird guard on top. The guard can be easily removed by loosening a few screws with a power drill. You will want a hose vacuum to get any leaves and dirt on the bottom of the unit. You also want to use a wet rag to wipe down the fan blades and sidewalls. While you have access, make sure the fan blades don’t have any rust or mold. Clean the Condenser Fins The chief operation of the condenser unit is to release heat from inside the house. This happens via the coils that line the outside of the unit. The coils are covered by thin aluminum ridges, which are called fins. When the fins get dirty or bent, the condensing process is seriously slowed down. Luckily, it is very easy to clean them. First, soak them in water with your hose. Then, spray on a basic cleaner or degreaser. If you are able to buy actual condenser cleaning solution (yes, that is a thing!) you will get even better results. Spray your cleaner on, let it soak in for a few minutes, and then spray it off with a strong stream of water. A fair amount of dirt should flow from the fins. Any dirt on the ground is dirt that was previously decreasing the efficiency of your condenser. If you do these basic cleaning every year or so, your system will be that much more...

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3 Ways To Make Your Living Room More Colorful Without Painting

Posted by on Jul 1, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Ways To Make Your Living Room More Colorful Without Painting

If your living room appears drab or lacking in color, you may be feeling like it’s time to bring out the cans of paint. Whether you are thinking of adding an accent wall to break up the bland monotone of your living space or you feel that paint is the only way to bring this room to life, you don’t have to go to such huge makeover extremes to make your living room pop with color. Here are ways you can make your living room more vibrant with color without doing a single stroke with a paintbrush. Add an engaging area rug An area rug, like those from Designer Rug Store of Tuscon, can quickly become the focal point in your living room, adding both comfort and fun color. Choose a circular area rug with large colorful polka dots or swirls, or opt for neon block prints on a large rectangular piece. Mix colors and textures by choosing contemporary styles in bold blues, grays, yellows, and even hot pinks in flat and shag textures. You can place an area rug on your wall to make it an even more interesting accent piece. If you prefer to be more traditional, place your area rug in the center of your living room in front of furniture so it gets the attention it deserves. Toss in some thrilling throws If your furniture is lacking color or is an outdated hue or tone, you can easily make it stand out by using beautiful throw designs to give your pieces a new look. Throws in thrilling animal prints, bold stripes, or even tropical designs can make lighter pastel furniture pieces appear brighter. Mix and match these bold throw patterns to give your living room an unpredictable style, which will make it stand out in a bold new way, no painting need. Reflect on style with a large mirror A single wall in your living room can become an accent wall even if you choose not to paint. A large, rectangular mirror can reflect all the decorative pieces you have in your living space while making the whole area appear larger at the same time. If you feel cramped in your boring room, then a mirror can make a huge difference in the appearance and size of your room. There are many ways you can make your living room appear more colorful without resorting to painting your space. From gorgeous area rugs to large mirrors, you can make this space more engaging and colorfully delightful to be in without having to lift a...

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Where Should The Water Go At The End Of Your Rain Chain?

Posted by on Jun 6, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Where Should The Water Go At The End Of Your Rain Chain?

Your rain chain should function like a gutter downspout, carrying water away from your house in order to protect your home’s foundation. Water that flows down the rain chain must enter a water management or water capturing system that will prevent the water from saturating the soil around your house. Directing the water away from your home can prevent foundation problems and can also prevent your home’s basement from having moisture and flooding problems. The following three methods are good ways to direct the moisture from your rain chain away from your home. Rain Garden A rain garden is a garden developed at a low point in your yard, where rain and moisture can gather to feed plants. Your rain garden should be about 10 feet away from your home. To build a rain garden, dig a small ditch that leads from the end of your rain chain to a round depression in your yard. If no depression exists naturally, dig one. Amend the soil in the depression with sand to promote good drainage. Fill in the ditch with large, round river rocks to help direct the water from the rain chain to the rain garden. Finally, fill your rain garden with plants like asters and irises, which prefer well-draining soil but can also handle occasional flooding. Rain Barrel A rain barrel enables you to capture the rain that flows from your roof. Water in a rain barrel is often saved to be used for gardening and lawn watering purposes. Many rain barrels come with a lid and are designed to form a seal with your rain gutter downspout. The seal helps prevent leaves and mosquitoes from gaining access to the water inside the barrel. Rain chains, unlike gutter downspouts, cannot form a seal with the rain barrel. To avoid problems, choose a rain barrel model specifically designed to work with a rain chain. Alternatively, you can also install a screen that covers the open space between the barrel lid and the rain chain to prevent debris and insects from gaining access to the inside of your rain barrel. Underground Drain Install an underground drain by digging a small ditch leading from your rain chain to a point in your yard. Once the ditch has been dug, lay down a PVC pipe in the ditch to collect rain water from the rain chain. Insert the end of the rain chain directly into the pipe. Finally, cover the pipe with dirt and sod, except at the two ends of the pipe. This simple but effective system will direct the rain water away from your home....

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Put Broken Glass To Good Use

Posted by on Apr 18, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Put Broken Glass To Good Use

If you have a broken window around your house, then you want to get a window replacement as soon as you can. Leaving the window broken will put you at an increased risk of having a criminal or pests enter your home. Other problems with a broken window include injuries to someone in the household and increased heating and cooling bills. In some cases, you can repurpose some of the glass pieces that come out of the broken window. If you are someone who likes to do craft projects, then you may want to consider saving some of the broken glass pieces and using them for one of the projects detailed below. *Tip: Make sure you wear work gloves when you are handling the glass so you don’t end up with cuts. Use the glass to create mosaic stepping stones You can paint one side of the glass pieces all different colors and allow them to dry. Then, mix up some fast drying cement and pour it into a shallow cake pan that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Press the pieces of glass color-side down into the wet cement and make sure all of the edges of the glass are even with the cement. Allow the concrete to dry all the way and then take the stepping stone out of the pan. Once the stepping stone is out of the pan, allow it to set for another few days before displaying it in your yard to make sure it is fully hardened. Making this type of stepping stones will allow you to have full control over the different colors, so you can match them to the rest of your landscaping. Using the glass will give the stepping stones a glossy and colorful looking appearance that helps them to stand out. Use the glass to create a textured painting If you are an artist looking for a way to liven up your paintings, you can incorporate some of that glass into them. Just as above, you can paint the backs of the glass any color you want and allow them to dry. Paint your canvas and once the paint has all dried on both the canvas and the glass pieces, add glue onto the painted side of the glass pieces and press them onto your painting. You can use this method to give buildings the appearance of real glass windows, to create a shinier sun or to add any other touches you want. The third dimension will add a whole other level to your masterpiece. The above ideas describe just a couple of ways you can reuse some of the glass out of your broken window. You can come up with many more and create some unique pieces to display around your...

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Five Ways To Change The Mood Of Your Room Using Window Treatments

Posted by on Apr 18, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Five Ways To Change The Mood Of Your Room Using Window Treatments

Feel like changing the mood in your home this spring? It is easy to alter the atmosphere and change the mood of any space using one simple element: window treatments. If you want to give a space of your home a distinctly different vibe, consider some of the following suggestions: Give a room an open, airy feeling. Open up a small space in your home with sheer panels that are longer than the actual window measurements. Allowing the fabric to puddle on the floor will make the room seem taller, and will even give it a light, carefree appearance. Hang the curtain rod a few inches above the top sill of your window to make the ceilings seem even higher. Bring a sense of warmth to a formal space. Give your room an instant sense of intimacy and warmth by choosing rich, textured drapes that can be pulled tight for privacy, or opened wide to let the sunshine in. Choose opaque material, preferably in colors that coordinate with the colors of your room, and that will meld with the walls creating a cozy, inviting atmosphere. Make your small space seem larger. To make a room seem larger, buy window treatments that are the same shade as the wall color. Paint the walls and ceilings the same color and hang matching drapes to create an optical illusion that makes your room seem bigger and taller than it actually is. Be sure to remove any obstructions from the front of your room’s windows to further enhance the feeling of a larger room. Turn a large empty space into something more intimate. If you have the problem of a space that is too big or empty, use window treatments to make it seem smaller and more welcoming. One way to achieve this is by using valances hung across the middle of the window, instead of at the top sill. Use vinyl window clings in the top pane to provide privacy and to further enhance the feeling of a smaller, cozier space. Check out draperies and window treatments online (like at http://www.sylvansdrapesandblinds.com and similar websites) to bring a new feeling to your space, and to get the best options for your buying budget. Create an illusion with the intentional use of window treatments to address the issue, and to turn your room into the space that you desire. Be sure to swap treatments periodically to allow time to launder or clean your curtains or drapes, and to coordinate your home’s décor with the current...

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More Than Just A Place To Sleep: Fast And Frugal Decorating Tips For Making Your Bedroom Your Own Personal Sanctuary

Posted by on Mar 15, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on More Than Just A Place To Sleep: Fast And Frugal Decorating Tips For Making Your Bedroom Your Own Personal Sanctuary

Considering you probably spend an average of seven to eight hours each night in your bedroom, it should be a room that gets a lot of attention. However, bedrooms are often thought of as being nothing more than a room to sleep in.  With minimal time and expense, you can make your bedroom into a room where relaxation and inspiration meet. Walking into your bedroom each day will be like going to your own personal retreat, and an inspirational bedroom may even help you get a better night’s sleep. Banish bedroom clutter The first step to creating your bedroom sanctuary is to remove any items that you don’t need in the bedroom. Clutter and serenity do not exist in the same room. If you have been using your bedroom as a catch-all area for laundry, exercise equipment, and holiday decorations, it’s time to clear out the clutter. If your nightstand does not have drawers to hide bedside necessities, use a decorative basket for holding items rather than leaving them on the nightstand. The goal is to achieve a clean appearance. The same holds true for the dresser top. Bring the things you love into the bedroom Add shelves or a bookcase to the bedroom for displaying your favorite items. The bookcase or shelves should be placed on the wall at the foot of the bed so you can see them easily. Think of it as your own private museum. What books inspire you? What art pieces do you have displayed in other areas of the home that you can’t live without? What photos are precious to you? These are a few of the things you may want to display on the shelves in your bedroom. Displaying the items you love in your bedroom means being able to see the things that mean the most to you before you go to sleep and when you wake up. Being surrounded by the things that have the deepest meaning to you will make you smile and can inspire you to be the best you can be. Buy a few new decorative items Adding just a few new decorative items can transform the look of an entire room. You can shop for cheap home décor items online that will look much like their expensive counterparts. Be careful not to add more than a few items. Simply choose decorative items that will make a big impact. For instance, a large framed art piece of a lovely landscape or an inspirational quote can become the focal point of the room. Some other decorative items that can induce a serene bedroom environment include candles, vases of silk flowers, inspirational figurines, and artificial plants. Cheap metal or wooden signs engraved with single words are simplistic but can make a powerful and inspiring statement in the bedroom.  Look for signs with words such as dream, believe, cherish, love, hope, live, and laugh. Transforming your bedroom into a room that’s more than just a room to sleep in does not require a lot of time or money. By cleaning up the clutter, using items you already have, and adding a few cheap home décor items, having your own personal sanctuary can quickly become a...

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Common Plumbing Problems That You Should Be Able To Diagnose

Posted by on Feb 12, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Common Plumbing Problems That You Should Be Able To Diagnose

Your plumbing system is likely a critical component of your home, but it often goes unappreciated. However, you will very quickly notice if something does go wrong. Critical failures can lead to very expensive damage to your home, which means that early detection is extremely important. To help you find any potential plumbing problems in your home before they strike, here are some of the biggest warning signs: Lack of Hot Water If you are having problems with your hot water, then there are two potential causes. Firstly, your hot water pipes might have a leak or a blockage. These pipes run parallel to your normal water pipes, but are separate, which means that a problem could affect one and not the other. If you have hot water in some parts of your home, but not others, then the piping is likely the problem. If there is a hot water pipe leak, then you need to be very vigilant, since that hot water can allow the rapid growth of mold and bacteria if its pooling in a dark area of your home. On the other hand, you might just have problems with your hot water heater, which means that the plumbing isn’t responsible. If your entire home is affected, the you will want to look at the water heater and the plumbing that is leading out from it, since you might have a leak somewhere in that area, prior to any branches in the pipes. Mold Mold is a huge warning sign of a leak, since it can be a health hazard all on its own. While most molds aren’t very dangerous, they can cause respiratory distress in individuals with poor health. Molds grow where there is standing water, which can easily be caused by a leak. When handling mold, make sure that you protect yourself and seal the remains of the mold when disposing of it. Bleach and ammonia are both valid options for killing the mold, but you should make sure to dilute them with water in order to conserve materials. Paint Blisters You could also have blisters forming in the paint in certain parts of your home. This is caused by water getting trapped between the pain and wallpaper, often indicating a leak in the vicinity. If you do notice paint blisters, then you want to look up. Since gravity is pulling the water down, the leak is often above the blisters in question. Contact a company like Hilmans Plumbing, or another location, to get more plumbing tips and...

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Par Excellence — 5 Steps To Creating A French Formal Garden In Your Yard

Posted by on Jan 18, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Par Excellence — 5 Steps To Creating A French Formal Garden In Your Yard

If you’re looking for a striking landscaping design that can serve as the perfect frame for a beautiful home, look no further than a formal French-style garden. A classic garden design filled with geometry and beautiful designs, a French garden landscape can transform any yard into a work of art.  If this sounds like the right thing for your home, here are 5 steps to get started. Start with a View from the House French gardens were designed to complement and highlight the beautiful homes to which they were attached. To mirror this, start by creating a long center line from the center of your home straight out through the yard. This central view is the backbone of your garden design. Enhance the home’s presentation and avoid obstructing the views by planting trees in straight lines along the outer sections of the yard while leaving only low plantings near the house.  Create Symmetry and Shapes Radiating out from the central axis line should be geometrical shapes and/or swirling, unique designs using greenery and hardscaping. Most French gardens use neatly trimmed hedges to create fun designs in the garden. You can plant beds inside the hedges and surround them with gravel paths that meander around the garden. The contrast between plants and gravel or hardscaping will help make your design more visible and attractive.  Complement with Statues and Fountains Once the garden’s general design has been laid out, it’s time to add some fun touches. French gardens took their cues from Italian Renaissance design, so feel free to add classical Italian, Greek or Roman statues as focal points in the yard. Water fountains are another good way to create interesting points and add contrast. For example, a circular fountain placed in the center of a star-shaped or square bed balances both shapes nicely. You can find garden water fountains for sale in your area or online.  Throw in Some Color As a final layer to your French garden, plant some soft flowers inside the shapes and around the edges to soften the hard lines of hedges or hardscapes. Traditionally, French gardens were limited to white, mauve, blue and pink flowers. But you can add a modern touch by including other flowers, such as a variety of roses, crocus or climbing sweat peas.  And a Folly or a Pond If you have a large enough yard and sufficient budget, you can go beyond the basic by adding some of the most unique features of a traditional French garden: a reflecting pond or a folly. Follies were specially-built structures designed to look like ruins or castoff architecture from ancient civilizations. A simple folly could be a Greek column covered in vines or a Roman water fountain half-buried in a flower bed. A folly can turn an ordinary space into something few guest will forget.  Designing a formal French garden is a project any homeowner can enjoy. If you follow these 5 steps to outlining your basic garden layout and adding some classic touches, you will quickly have a yard that will thrill guests and make you proud for years to...

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Natural Food Supplies You Can Use To Fight Pests

Posted by on Dec 22, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Natural Food Supplies You Can Use To Fight Pests

If you want to try and deal with ants in your home in a non-toxic and more natural way, there are a number of options you can use. One approach is to try and use largely food ingredients that you’re familiar with because then you can be sure that what you’re using is non-toxic since you could just eat it anyway.   Cornmeal All that is really necessary for you to use this approach is to put a small dish with a big pile of cornmeal in it in any area that you suspect may contain ants. Ants are attracted to cornmeal, but they can’t digest it. The goal is to drop it as close to the ants’ home as possible in order to get them to bring it back into the colony. This will actually cause them to starve to death because their bellies will be full of something that they can’t actually get nutrients out of or even really get rid of in any way. The approach isn’t fast, but it is effective. Mint Mint tastes just fine to humans, but ants can’t stand it. You can use mint oil or even just bags of mint tea in any location where you want to discourage ants from coming. The strong scent of the mint will encourage them to stay away and go elsewhere for their foraging. Sugar It’s possible to trap ants with sugar since they will be highly attracted to it. One common recipe is to use sugar with highly watered down boric acid; it is toxic to ants, but it can be made safe to humans and pets provided you water it down sufficiently. You need to mix at least 1 teaspoon plus 6 tablespoons sugar in 2 cups of water. You should make this even more diluted if you’re worried about children and pets. You can then soak it all in cotton balls and put the balls around your house. The ants will load up on it and then bring it back to the nest, slowly poisoning all of the ants there. If they poison themselves with a low enough dosage and slowly enough, they often won’t notice the problem. Also, you can either just use these supplies on their own or else purchase supplies that contain these ingredients. Many products containing the ingredients are more effective since they will contain the components using the highest quality sources at the exact right amounts. For more information, talk to a company like ASE Pest & Weed...

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