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3 Excellent Reasons To Use A Builder In The Pre-Planning Stages Of Building A Home

Posted by on 5:08 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Excellent Reasons To Use A Builder In The Pre-Planning Stages Of Building A Home

Are you ready to make plans to build a new home? If so, you may feel as though you have a big challenge ahead. This is because building a home requires significant consideration that pre-built homes often do not require. Perhaps you are thinking that a home builder can only assist you when you know all the details about the new home you plan to build. However, it is ideal to choose a home builder and get them involved in the initial stages of determining what you need in your dream home. Doing so can relieve some of the stress you may have about planning the layout of your new home and other features. The following are a few ways a home builder can help you get your new house plans underway.  Access to Existing Floor Plans Some home builders have model floor plans available. You can look at the floor plans of homes they have already built and pick one that matches your needs. You may have the option to choose a floor plan and customize it to your specifications. For example, if your spouse is disabled, you might want to make minor changes to the bathroom in the master bedroom to suit your spouse or have a ramp added to the porch design to accommodate a powerchair. Locating Reliable Subcontractors Some builders may not offer a full home-building solution. For example, they might only construct houses, which means that you would need to hire an electrician to wire the home. If your builder does not offer certain services, they can likely recommend other contractors with the credentials to complete the work you need to have completed. This is a better idea than trying to hire contractors that you and the builder do not know. The builder will likely recommend contractors who they have already done projects with in the past. Sourcing Hard-to-Find Materials Perhaps you are going to want building materials for the home that are not indigenous to your local area. Trying to find these items at a building supply store might be challenging for you, but builders usually have local methods of sourcing materials and ways to get materials that are not available in the local area. For example, you might desire wood flooring that is sourced from a type of tree that does not grow in your area, and a builder could order the lumber and have it delivered to your new home...

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Answering Some Common Concerns About Foundation Repairs

Posted by on 4:52 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Answering Some Common Concerns About Foundation Repairs

A stable foundation is essential for any modern home, and while the foundation may be an easy part of the home to overlook, it is a reality that it can be prone to suffering some forms of damage. Unfortunately, it is a fairly routine problem for individuals to lack much of an understanding when it concerns these issues. To help you with being an informed homeowner, you should be aware of the following commonly asked questions concerning foundation problems and repairs.   How Can A Homeowner Recognize That Their Home Is Experiencing Foundation Problems? While your home’s foundation may be buried deep in the soil, there are still visible warning signs that may alert you to a potential problem. Often, foundation issues will cause the home to start to come out of alignment. When this happens, you may start to see cracks forming in the walls, ceilings and floors of your house. Furthermore, you may notice that the doors and windows are more difficult to close. In extreme cases, the entire home may be visibly leaning in one direction. When these problems are noticed, you will need to have a foundation repair professional inspect the home, as these issues are likely to worsen until the home is no longer safe for occupancy. What Can Be Done To Stabilize A Compromised Foundation? There are a number of steps that can be taken to stabilize a compromised foundation. In instances where the soil is unable to support the weight of the home, the foundation may actually start to sink into the ground. To combat this problem, concrete or metal piers may be inserted under the foundation. Another common source of these problems is uncontrolled erosion. When the soil under the home is allowed to erode, it can lead to the foundation cracking, crumbling, and failing. Unfortunately, repairing this problem will be more complicated, as the contractor will need to replace the soil that has eroded away. What Should You Do After Your Foundation Is Repaired? Once the contractors have completed the repair work on your foundation, you may be tempted to immediately start repairs to the cracks in the walls. However, you should typically wait several weeks before having this work done. This is necessary to allow the house time to settle into its new position. If you repair these damages before this has occurred, the cracks may reform. While you may want to delay cosmetic repairs to the structure, you should always have your plumbing inspected following these repairs. Working on the foundation can affect the elevation of the entire home, which can put pressure on the plumbing system. By having this system inspected following foundation work, you can be sure that a potentially serious leak won’t develop as a result of the original problem or the repair work. For more information on foundation repair, contact a company like Perma Jack...

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Three Tips for Those Needing to Replace Their Air-Conditioning Systems

Posted by on 8:51 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Three Tips for Those Needing to Replace Their Air-Conditioning Systems

Upgrading or replacing your home’s air-conditioning system may be a very intimidating task to have to do. Considering the costs and importance of this system, it should not be surprising that homeowners can be fairly stressed by this process. However, it is important to note that there are some simple tips that you can follow to help ensure that you get the most from this upgrade. Have an Air-Conditioning Contractor Calculate the Size of the System Your Home Needs There are an almost overwhelming number of options that you can choose when it comes to the size of air-conditioning system you choose. Unfortunately, it can be a common mistake for individuals to assume that it is always better to get the largest air-conditioning system that they can afford. Often, the thinking for this decision is that the larger unit will cool the home faster and use less energy. However, there is a delicate balance between system size and efficiency. By choosing a system that is too large and powerful for your home, you will be wasting energy. Luckily, air-conditioning contractors are able to inspect your home and calculate the size of the unit that would be ideal for it. Consider Opting for a Solar-Powered Unit Running your air-conditioning system can be one of the biggest expenses you will have to pay during the summer months. However, you may be able to minimize these expenses by investing in a solar-powered air-conditioning system. These systems will be able to generate much of the power that they need with solar panels that are placed on the exterior unit. While these systems may still require some supplemental energy from your home, they can drastically reduce the overall expense of cooling your home, which may be more than the higher initial cost of this type of air-conditioning system. Plan to Have the Ducting Cleaned Once the Unit Is Installed After you have the new air-conditioning unit installed, you may want to consider having the ducting professionally cleaned. During the process of removing the old unit and installing the new one, it can be possible for dust, dirt, pollen, and other allergens to get into the system’s ducting. By having the ducting cleaned, you can ensure that these materials have been removed, which can help to keep the air quality in your home as high as possible. For convenience, there are many air-conditioning installation providers that can also provide this service for an additional...

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Septic Tank Maintenance During The Holidays

Posted by on 5:31 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Septic Tank Maintenance During The Holidays

Your septic tank may function well throughout the year, but some septic systems can struggle to keep up with demand at the holidays. With extra people staying in your house, your home will likely produce more wastewater than normal, and some unwanted items may get flushed down the kitchen and bathroom drains. Controlling these problems can help you keep your home in good working order over the holidays. Inform Holiday Guests People who are used to living in a home with a sewer may not understand the difference between a septic tank and a sewer system. When your guests arrive, kindly explain that certain items cannot be flushed down your home’s drains, including: Medicines Feminine hygiene products Antibacterial cleaners and hand sanitizers If you’re uncomfortable talking to your guests about your septic system, put up small, tasteful signs in your bathrooms and kitchen. Stagger Showers and Laundry Larger than normal amounts of water flooding your septic system can prevent solids from properly settling at the bottom of your septic tank and can potentially lead to clogs. Staggering your household showers and loads of laundry can help prevent these problems. Coordinate with your guests to space out showers and laundry cleaning throughout the day to ease the burden on your septic system. Install a Septic Tank-Friendly Garbage Disposal A garbage disposal might create problems for your septic tank. By flushing extra solids into your septic system, your garbage disposal could cause clogs and septic tank backups. Some households can get away with occasional use of their garbage disposal for ordinary meals, but holiday meals can be especially problematic because they’re so large. You can avoid this problem by either disconnecting your garbage disposal, or by installing a septic tank-friendly garbage disposal unit before the arrival of the holidays. Remind Guests Not to Flush Fat and Grease Down the Drain People who live in your house are probably used to preventing cooking oil and grease from flowing down the kitchen drain, but your guests may need special instructions. If your guests help you clean up after meals, kindly remind them not to dump fats and oils down the kitchen drain. Get Your Septic Tank Cleaned Septic tank pumping should happen approximately every 2 or 3 years. If your home’s septic tank hasn’t been serviced in a few years, have this done now before the start of the holidays. Later in the fall, you may become busy making plans and buying gifts, and that can make it harder to get routine septic tank maintenance scheduled. For more tips on how to keep your septic tank problem-free over the holidays, talk to a pumping service like All County...

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Got a New Paper Birch Tree? Tips to Keep Your New Tree Healthy

Posted by on 6:04 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Got a New Paper Birch Tree? Tips to Keep Your New Tree Healthy

A paper birch tree has a beautiful white bark that grows best in cool climates because it has shallow roots. The best climate for it has cool summers and long winters. This tree has a narrow canopy that will provide you with dappled shade. Because the shade is dappled, you can plant groundcover plants that grow well in part shade under it. Below are some tips to help you take good care of your paper birch tree so it stays healthy. Proper Care for the Paper Birch Tree Contact a tree company in your area to help you set up a preventive insect-control program. This is very important, as these trees are susceptible to a variety of pests. A newly planted paper birch tree should be fertilized with a birch-tree fertilizer to help it get established, promote root growth, and to increase its tolerance to stress. You should be able to find this fertilizer at garden centers or online. Follow the instructions on how to properly apply it to the tree. Your paper birch tree should be pruned to give it a strong structure and maintain its health. Removing branches that are diseased or broken will stop fungi from spreading throughout the tree. If the tree becomes too full, the tree-trimming service will thin it out so it has more sun exposure and so air can circulate within the canopy much better. This can help the tree resist many diseases. Symptoms of Infections You should learn the symptoms of different pest infections so you can get the tree the help it needs. One of the deadliest pests that attacks paper birch trees is the bronze birch borer. Some of the main symptoms of this pest include: Sparse foliage Chlorotic leaves Upper branch dying Bumps on the branches of limbs D-shaped holes in the bark If you notice any of these symptoms, check it out online and contact the tree-trimming service immediately. Catching the problem early may save your tree. If it is too far gone, the tree will eventually die. The birch leafminers is another pest that goes after paper birch trees. Leafminers are the larvae that come from tiny wasps, known as black sawflies. Adult wasps lay their eggs on the leaves. When the eggs hatch, the leafminers eat through the birch leaves, which creates pale, small tunnels. Over time the leaves will turn brown and die and drop from the birch tree. Fortunately, the birch leafminers will not kill your paper birch tree, but they will affect its appearance. If properly taken care of, a paper birch tree can live to be over 100 years...

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Eliminate Water From Your Home’s Basement, And Repair And Protect Concrete Walls

Posted by on 6:08 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Eliminate Water From Your Home’s Basement, And Repair And Protect Concrete Walls

Water that accumulates on your residence’s basement floor each time that it rains can cause extensive water-damage to your home’s structure. Eliminate water from the basement and repair any damage in the basement’s concrete walls by completing the steps below. Afterwards, apply a waterproofing sealant over the concrete to provide it with additional protection from damage, which could result in leaks. Materials sump pump portable heaters soapy water scrub brush putty knife wire brush vacuum cleaner (with hose attachment) towel tube of concrete filler trowel can of waterproofing sealant paint roller and frame paint tray and liner Eliminate Water From The Floor And Dry The Surface Rent a sump pump from a rental company or home improvement center to siphon water from the basement floor and deposit it outdoors. Most sump pump models need to be placed on a level surface before being plugged into an electrical socket. The siphoning hose needs to be placed in the puddled water and the transfer hose needs to be inserted through a window so that water will be dispersed outdoors. Once the water has been eliminated, set up a couple portable heaters in the basement to assist with drying the floor.  Repair Damaged Walls And Apply Sealant If you spot small cracks and grooves in portions of interior concrete walls, clean the affected areas with soapy water and a scrub brush. Use a putty knife or wire brush to help loosen small fragments of concrete that are stuck inside of the damaged sections. Use a vacuum hose to remove any concrete dust that remains on the walls. Dry the treated areas with a towel if they are damp. Apply a thin line of concrete filler to each part of the wall that is physically marred. Smooth out the surface of the filler with a hand trowel. The filler needs to harden before applying a coat of sealant over it. The drying time may require several hours. Once the sealer has a firm, dry surface, mix the sealant and pour some of the product into a paint tray that has a liner inserted in it. Add a coat of sealer to each interior wall. Roll the sealer across the concrete in straight lines. Once the sealer has dried, an additional coat can be added if you didn’t effectively cover each wall with the first coat. In the future, water will not be likely to enter your home’s basement and the concrete walls will not be susceptible to damage.  For more information or assistance with completing this project, contact contractors like those at Rite-Way...

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3 Essential Safety Tips to Remember When Doing Work on a Roof

Posted by on 5:36 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Essential Safety Tips to Remember When Doing Work on a Roof

There may be times when you need to get on your roof and do a small repair. You may get on the roof to clean off debris or clean the gutters. No matter what the reason is for you to get on your roof, you will want to stay safe on your roof. There are some simple things to remember, like wearing the correct shoes, using a ladder correctly, and using fall protection when needed. Here are some essential safety tips to keep you safe while you are doing work on any roof. 1. Wear Soft Shoes and Carry a Foam Cushion to Prevent Sliding on Shingles Soft shoes are an important element of staying safe when doing work on a roof. You may think about putting work boots on when you get on a roof, but you will be safer with soft-soled shoes. This is because they provide a better grip on asphalt shingles and allow your feet to adapt to the contours of the roof. In addition, a small foam cushion can be good to prevent sliding as well as protect you from contact with fiberglass that is in many roofing products. 2. Use the Ladder Correctly and Use Scaffolding Jacks for Small Roof Repairs The ladder is one of the most dangerous elements of doing any type of maintenance around your home. When you use a ladder to get on your roof, make sure that it is leaned away from the roof at a good angle and that several rungs of the ladder extend above the eave. In addition, you may want to use scaffold jacks for some repairs, like replacing shingles. If you use scaffold jacks, use them correctly. The ones that nail or screw to the roof should be attached to rafters and not the plywood decking and should have walk-boards that only span a short distance if you are using wood. 3. Get the Appropriate Fall Protection and Use It Correctly on Higher Elevations For higher work, you may need to use fall protection, or harnesses and ropes designed for doing roofing work. It is important that these systems are used correctly. Like with scaffold jacks, any tie-downs that fasten to the roof need to be attached to something solid and not plywood decking. In addition, the rope of your harness should only allow you to come to the edge of the roof and no further. These are some essential safety tips to help you stay safe while working on a roof. It is important that you take precautions when doing this type of work and follow any safety advice. If you have need help with some of your roof repairs, contact a roofing service such as Grissom Contracting to help get the maintenance done safely....

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Hidden Electrical: 3 Tips For Getting Creative With Conveniently-Placed Outlets

Posted by on 4:42 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Hidden Electrical: 3 Tips For Getting Creative With Conveniently-Placed Outlets

It is almost impossible to have too many outlets in your home, especially with the number of appliances that a given household uses on a regular basis. However, some homeowners don’t like the appearance of outlets or are inconvenienced by them. If this sounds like you, here are three ways you can creatively hide your outlets while still ensuring that they are easily accessible when you need power: Recess Your Outlets into the Wall How bad do you hate it when you stub your toe on the dresser or the couch the sticks out too far from the wall because of an outlet? Or maybe you are just tired of seeing that huge gap between your furniture and the wall. Whatever the case may be, a quick and easy solution is having an electrician come in and recess your outlets into the wall. You will still have electricity access whenever and wherever you may need it, but you don’t have to worry about any gaps and the inconvenience those gaps cause. This can be done behind beds, sofas, bookshelves, entertainment centers, etc. and it makes for a much more visually-appealing space. Add Outlets into Kitchen Cabinetry Cluttered countertops are not eye-appealing. This is true whether you are in the kitchen or the bathroom. However, you have appliances that you use frequently that you prefer to keep plugged in and easily accessible so that you don’t have to worry about constantly dragging it in and out of the cabinets and then finding an available plug so that it can actually be used. One effective and creative solution to this is to have an electrician install outlets inside your cabinets. This will allow you to hide your appliances, while also keeping them plugged in and ready-to-use when you need them. At the same time, though, it frees up a ton of space on your countertop and improves the overall aesthetics of the space. This can be done in both the kitchen and the bathroom. Add Outlets Specifically for Holiday Décor Are you a big sticker for holiday decorations? Extension cords can not only be unsightly, but they can be unsafe as well. So, to help free up the use of extension cords, why not consider having an electrician add outlets in areas where you like to hang lights and use electrical holiday décor? For example, outlets can be placed high on the wall just beneath the crown molding, or an outlet can be installed on the exterior of your home underneath the roof’s eaves. Visit for more information....

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How To Get Rid Of Fruit Flies In Your Home

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Fruit flies are those tiny pesky flies you may have noticed before around your fruit, drains or just randomly flying around your home. They like fruit but tend to make their homes in the gunk in the drains throughout your home. You can get rid of them all by yourself and finally be rid of those annoying little bugs. See below for tips and instructions on how to get rid of fruit flies and how to prevent them from returning. Get Rid Of Fruit Flies: Put Fruit Away. Keep flies away from your fruit by putting your fruit away. Place fruit and vegetables in the refrigerator, rather than on the kitchen counter. For bananas, which can also be refrigerated, if you prefer they stay out, simply wash the skins down with soapy water and allow them to air dry. Clean Drains. Clean out your drains, where gunk can build up, creating a nice home for flies to live and lay more eggs. To clean out your drains, you can use a store-bought drain cleaner, or for a more natural way, boil a pan of water and pour the boiling water slowly into your drain, being sure to get it on the sides of the drain. You can also use bleach in your drain to clean them out. Again, pour it slowly and be sure to get the sides of the drain. Do this in all of your sink, shower and floor drains throughout your home where fruit flies can live. Set Traps. For flies that are still flying around inside your home, set a trap to get rid of these. You can set a trap using a cup of apple cider vinegar on your counter. Cover the cup using plastic wrap (be sure it is covered tightly with the plastic wrap). Then poke a few small holes in it. The flies will go into the cider vinegar but cannot escape. Change the apple cider vinegar trap every couple of days. Keep The Fruit Flies From Coming Back: To help prevent the fruit flies from returning to your home, be sure to keep your drains clean. Be sure to use the drain traps to prevent food and other particles from going down into your drain. Clean your bathroom shower and sink drains often to prevent hair and other gunk from building up. Also clean up around garbage areas where food and other items can attract these bugs. Keep your fruit off of your counter, but if you must keep it out, be sure to throw out fruits and vegetables that have become overly ripe. These pesky bugs can be a bit of a pain, but you can get rid of them. For more information, contact Antex Exterminating Co Inc or a similar...

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Homeowners: 3 Reasons Why It’s Important To Handle Water Runoff Properly

Posted by on 6:11 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Homeowners: 3 Reasons Why It’s Important To Handle Water Runoff Properly

As a homeowner, it is important to think about things like gutters, downspouts and other ways to handle water runoff from your home. Even though it might not be a very fun part of home ownership, water runoff can actually cause a lot of problems. These are a few issues that you might face if you don’t ensure that the water is adequately carried away from your home. 1. Foundation Damage Keeping the foundation of your home in good shape is critical. Unfortunately, excessive water pooling around the outside perimeter of your home can affect your foundation. This is because excessive saturation of the soil around your home can cause the soil to contract and expand, which can then cause cracks and other problems with the foundation of your home. Since foundation damage can cause additional damage to the inside of the house — such as causing doors to stick and walls and chimneys to crack — and since foundation repair can be expensive, it is best to prevent foundation damage whenever possible. 2. Oversaturation of Plants If you have plants on your property, you probably love the curb appeal that they add to your home. You might not think that water runoff is bad for them, since plants obviously need water to live and grow, but the oversaturation that can be caused by uncontrolled water runoff can actually be detrimental to your flowers, shrubs and other plants. When water runoff runs off of your home and around your plants, it often pools on top of the already-wet ground. This can effectively “drown” your plants. Directing the water runoff with gutters and downspouts can allow you to control the amount of water that your plants get. 3. Flooding Flooding is obviously a major concern in areas where there is excessive rain, particularly if you live in an area that is below sea level. Water running off of your home and pooling up around your house can increase your chances of dealing with flooding, while ensuring that the rainwater is directed away from the house can help reduce the amount of water that stands outside of your home during heavy periods of rain. As you can see, handling water runoff properly is critical if you are a homeowner. If you do not currently have gutters and downspouts in place, or if you fear that your existing system isn’t working properly, consider working with a professional so that you can handle the excessive water in the most effective way possible. To learn more, contact a company like Crest Engineering...

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