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Home Renovations: Installing a New Driveway

3 Tips To Help You Maintain Your Oil Furnace

Posted by on Aug 10, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Tips To Help You Maintain Your Oil Furnace

Keeping your home’s interior heated is essential when it comes to the health and safety of your family during the cold winter months. If your home relies on an oil furnace for heat, then taking the time to complete routine maintenance tasks is essential for ensuring the functionality of your furnace. Here are three tips that you can use to ensure that you are properly maintaining your oil furnace in the future. 1. Keep an eye on the smoke coming from your chimney. As your oil furnace burns fuel to generate heat, smoke will escape from your home’s chimney. The color of this smoke can tell you a lot about the condition of your oil furnace. If you notice that the smoke coming from your home’s chimney is black, this could indicate that there is a problem within your oil furnace. Black smoke usually means that the oil used to fuel your furnace isn’t being burned completely before emission, resulting in wasted fuel. Contact a repair professional for help pinpointing the problem as soon as you notice black smoke during the heating season. 2. Keep your blower motor well-greased. The blower motor in your oil furnace plays a critical role in helping to circulate heated air throughout the ducts in your home. Since the blower motor is constantly in motion when your furnace is engaged, it’s important to keep the moving parts of your blower motor well-lubricated. Taking the time to grease your oil furnace’s blower motor fittings with two or three drops of 10-weight nondetergent motor oil on an annual basis will help you prevent costly damage to this important mechanical component. 3. Keep your furnace’s stack control clean. Your furnace is equipped with a stack control switch that is designed to monitor the operation of the oil burner and shut down your furnace when a problem is detected. This automatic shutdown can prevent serious damage, but the stack control can malfunction when it is allowed to get too dirty. Soot that builds up on the surface of your furnace’s stack control can result in the prevention of the ignition of the burner. Clean the stack control monthly during the heating season to ensure proper performance. Maintaining your oil furnace is important when it comes to providing your home with access to a reliable heat source. Be sure that you are monitoring the color of the smoke emitted from your furnace, lubricating the blower motor, and cleaning the stack control to keep your oil furnace in good condition. Contact a company like Shearman Oil Inc for more...

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How To Spot Hail Damage On An Asphalt Shingle Roof

Posted by on Jul 26, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Spot Hail Damage On An Asphalt Shingle Roof

A major hailstorm is enough to make any homeowner nervous about the state of their roof. That is why you may be relieved when you first check out your asphalt shingle roof after the hail stones begin to melt. Unfortunately, the damage may not be immediately visible if you aren’t sure what to look for. The following guide can help you better assess whether it’s time for a professional inspection or possible a repair. Check the trim and flashing Damage to the trim and flashing is usually easier to spot than shingle damage. The metal flashing is the strips that are placed around chimneys or vent pipes on the roof. They can suffer small or large dents during a hailstorm, which makes them look dimpled or wavy instead of smooth. Metal and vinyl trim can also suffer damage, especially on the side of the house where the hail blew in from. Generally, if you notice dents, dimples, waviness, or actual holes in the trim or flashing, you can be reasonably assured that there is also damage to the roof. Let the sun get low in the sky Wait to inspect the roof until a time when the sun is low in the sky, such as sunrise or sunset. This increases shadowing on the roof, making it the optimum time for checking that the shingles are still lying flat. In many cases, the force of the hail strikes cause shingles to bow or lift up slightly. This may not be readily apparent from the ground unless it is a time of day when the slight uplift is causing shadows to appear. If you notice this uplift or bowing, call in a professional for a repair. Look in your gutters The asphalt on the shingles is a necessary element for making them strong and weatherproof. Hail tends to compress the shingles and knock off the gravel, making them less effective. The quickest way to notice this damage is to look for large amounts of gravel in the gutters around the eaves of the roof. If you don’t have gutters, then check the ground along the drip line from the eaves for gravel buildup. Anything more than a small handful of gravel is cause for concern. Verify that there are no dark or shiny spots Another sign that the shingles have been breached by hail stones is discoloration. This often shows up as a random pattern of dark or shiny spots on the roof shingles. These spots are caused by areas that were compressed and lost their gravel covering. If for some reason you can’t check for gravel on the ground, perhaps because you have gravel mulch bordering your home, then checking for these spots is the next best alternative. For more information, contact Rocky Mountain Roofers & Gutters or a similar...

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Understanding Two Water Well Drilling Considerations

Posted by on Jul 11, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Understanding Two Water Well Drilling Considerations

If your home is not supplied with city water, then you may need to have a water well installed to supply you with fluid instead. Wells are drilled into the earth with the use of drill rigs, and a rotary drill will often be forced 1,000 feet or more into the earth. Wells are typically positioned in areas where a ground aquifer is able to supply the well with a constant supply of water. The aquifer itself may dictate the location of the well. However, there are a variety of other factors that also need to be considered when finding the best location for a well. Leach Field Location If you do not have access to city water, then you likely do not have sewer lines connected to your home. This means you have a septic system with an attached leach field. This leach field will allow fluid wastes to drain into the earth. If this leach field is located near the drilled well, then the wastes can enter the well through openings or cracks that may form in the casing over time. This can cause coliform bacteria to enter your water. These bacteria can cause a variety of gastrointestinal issues.  Fluid wastes will move vertically away from the septic drainage field and eventually leach into the groundwater. The vertical movement will depend on the volume of wastes, the composition of the soil, and the saturation of the ground. To avoid fluids entering your well, it is best to have the well drilled as far away from the leach field as possible. Placing the well on the opposite side of the home as the leach field is a good choice. Direction Of Water Flow Ground water, leach field drainage, and water that flows out of an aquifer will seep deep into the ground to the layer of bedrock that sits hundreds or thousands of feet below the earth. The water will flow to a river, stream, or other waterway. As the water flows, it will pick up contaminants. This contaminated water may come into contact with the well or the aquifer. To prevent this issue, make sure the well is placed on a high area of your property. The flow of ground water typically follows elevation, from high to low. This means that the well will be far from draining fluids if it is secured high on the property. You may need to work with a survey professional so a topographical map can be created of the property. This will help you to see areas of high and low elevation so a good well location can be located.  Go to site for more...

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Common Mistakes To Avoid When Refinishing Wood

Posted by on Jun 23, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Common Mistakes To Avoid When Refinishing Wood

Wood refinishing is definitely something anyone can do, and it often has strongly positive effects on your wood furniture and products. Here are some common mistakes to avoid in order to make sure that you end up with the best result possible. Forgetting to Account for Safety The first thing you should always do when preparing to handle refinishing your home is make sure that you ensure the safety of yourself and all of your tools and furniture. First, you need to make sure you have good ventilation. This means using fans and air filters, and even opening up the windows in your house. Then, you need to make sure that you have thick, protective gloves for dealing directly with the chemicals. You’ll also need safety glasses in order to make sure that nothing ends up in your eyes during an accidental splash. If you’re going to be doing any mixing and pouring yourself, you’ll need a mask as well to be on the safe side. Going Light on Sanding Some people get tired of sanding and don’t do it as much as they should. However, sanding adds small nicks to the wood that will make it easier to stain. These breaks in the wood carry the stain much better than when they are completely smooth. People also tend to forget this step after they use chemical strippers on the furniture to get rid of the old finish. Failing to Use Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner This step will make sure that the stain you use will be held properly in the wood in a way that’s smooth. If you end up with irregular pores, this will create inconsistency in the stain that will look bad during the staining part of the refinishing process. Staining Without Testing It’s easy to be gung-ho about getting right to staining the furniture after you’ve gone through the trouble of removing the previous stain, but it’s important to test the stain on some part of the furniture that won’t be in full view, like underneath a table, for example, before going all the way through with a full staining. You’ll need to make sure that the stain is taking in the way you expect it will.Overall, It’s often hard to be completely certain about how the color will come out ahead of time. It’s a lot easier to test and then fix any issues ahead of time than it would be to remove the stain all over again.  For assistance, talk to a professional like Painting By Jerry...

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Four Benefits To Adding A Driveway Gate To Your Property

Posted by on Jun 3, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Four Benefits To Adding A Driveway Gate To Your Property

Choosing the right gate to enhance your home and property is more than just running down to your local house supply store and picking out what’s on the shelf. If you really want to capture your personal style, your best bet is to go with a custom gate designed with your taste and the professional experience of a gate specialist. When you require your own space and privacy, a driveway gate helps add that extra touch that shows intruders where your boundaries are. The great thing about a custom gate is that it adds value to the property, while still keeping unwanted visitors out. Here are some other benefits of adding a driveway gate to the entrance of your property.  Added Security One of the biggest benefits of adding a driveway gate to your property is the addition of security gadgets. before you decide to open the gate to a stranger, you can install an intercom system that allows you to address the visitor to see what they need. You can even add a security camera so you can actually see the person who is sitting at the gate. This added security can make you and your whole family feel much safer.  Wide Variety of Options Another great perk of adding a driveway gate is the ability to customize your entrance. If you are looking to add a personal touch to your entrance, there are numerous styles and sizes of gates to choose from. From bell gates to standard arched gates to flat top gates, the options are almost endless. While the design is important for the look of the gate, you can also choose between a wide variety of styles. Everything from a barrier arm gate to a swing gate can help customize your property while still being functional.  More Control for the Homeowner Having a driveway gate allows you to decide who can come on your property. Many gates can be controlled using central command systems, cellphones, and more. If you see someone trying to enter your property, you have the ability to close a gate and even sound an alarm if you choose to do so. It also eliminates the need for a security guard. If having to live in a neighborhood with a security guard has been a concern of yours, having a driveway gate can help do away with the need.  Enhances the Property Some gates can actually add value to your property. With the right maintenance routine, your wood, iron, or steel gate can remain a great feature to your entrance. Since some driveway gates can weigh up to 20,000 pounds, it is always recommended to have a gate specialist handle the maintenance to ensure it works properly and safely.  For custom gates, contact a company such as Carter Fence...

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3 Tips For Advertising Your Business While Your Building Is Still Being Built

Posted by on Mar 28, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Tips For Advertising Your Business While Your Building Is Still Being Built

If your building is still under construction, you are probably anxious and excited about it being completed so that you can open your business. However, you may not have thought much about trying to get others excited, too. It is actually a good idea to start advertising your business now rather than waiting, though. These are a few ways that you can start doing so now, even if construction is still going on. 1. Put Up a Sign at the Building Site Contact a sign company, such as Inland Petroservice Inc, and consider having a “Coming Soon” sign designed for your business. Add your company name and logo if you have everything worked out — this is good because it can allow you to go ahead and start establishing your business as a household name. Plus, it’ll help prevent all of the questions around the community about the construction that is being done. 2. Create a Website One of the best ways to start marketing your business now is to create a website. When people see your sign, one of the first things that many of them might do is an online search for your company name. By establishing a website, you can go ahead and answer all of their questions about what your business is and what it will provide for your community. Provide as much information as you can, including the types of products or services that you will be providing and an estimated date for when your business will be open. You don’t have to be too exact, but giving people a ballpark estimate — such as the month or season and year — can give them an idea of when to check back to see if your business is open. 3. Get Started on Social Media Building social media profiles on sites like Twitter and Facebook now will give you one less thing to do later, and it can allow you to start building a fan base. You can also use your social media accounts to keep people posted on the progress of your construction and about the things that you will be offering. You shouldn’t wait until construction has been completed before you start advertising your business. Instead, give these three tips a try so that you can start building up a base of customers before you have even opened your doors — or perhaps even before your doors have been...

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Propane Is A Better Choice Than Electricity

Posted by on Feb 29, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Propane Is A Better Choice Than Electricity

Generating mass amounts of electricity to power cities can take quite a toll on the environment. If you want to go green, then you should look for ways to reduce the amount of electricity you use in your home or eliminate its use altogether. Most of the appliances in your home that run on electricity can run on either natural gas or propane. If you live in a large city, then it should be fairly easy to tap into a natural gas line, but if you live a rural area, then you should look into propane.  Is It Safe? One of the main concerns that people have when deciding whether they should switch over to propane is whether it is safe to use. While propane is obviously flammable, it will not ignite unless its ignition source reaches 950˚F. Thus, if you do happen to have a propane leak in your home, it will not ignite under normal conditions in your home. You should be able to get out safely without any incident.  More Cost Effective It costs far less to heat your home with propane than it does to heat your home with electricity. Suffice it to say, that while switching over to propane is good for the environment, it is also good for your wallet.  More Reliable When you operate your home on electricity, your coverage is always susceptible to blackouts. A natural disaster could leave you and yours susceptible to the ravages of mother nature. On the other hand, if you use propane to power your home, your power sources is in a tank in your yard. As long as you can get your regular delivery of propane, you never have to worry about the power going out.  Green While all of the above-mentioned benefits are attractive in their own right, if you want to do your part to protect the environment, your biggest concern will likely be if propane is safe for the environment. Propane releases very few emissions, and is thus a good alternative to use electricity from a coal-burning power plant.  It can be quite expensive to convert your home over to propane, but that doesn’t mean it is not doable. In order to make the process more financially feasible, you should consider converting over one appliance at a time. Start with your furnace, and then convert over your appliance as they wear out and/or as you have the money. Contact a residential propane gas service company to learn...

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4 Extra Repairs And Improvements You Want To Prepare For When Reroofing Your Home

Posted by on Feb 5, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Extra Repairs And Improvements You Want To Prepare For When Reroofing Your Home

When it comes time to replace your old asphalt shingles, you may want to be prepared for unexpected repairs. This can be due to things like leaks that cause rot and require repairing decking or wood framing. You may also want to consider improvements to prevent failures in the future, such as extra flashing membranes or protection from ice dams. Here are some of the extra costs you can expect for repairs and improvements when you have your roof replaced: 1. Repairs To Decking That Is Damaged Or Rotten One of the common problems that you will find when you get ready to reroof your home is rotten roof decking. This is one of the simplest repairs to do, but you can expect to pay a little for materials and labor. When you order materials for your roof, you may want to add a couple of sheets of plywood to account for any repairs that roof decking will need. 2. Repairing Structural Damage To Rafters And Wood Framing If you have rotten roof decking, you may also have rot that continues to the rafters and wood framing of your home. While repairing a small section of rafter may not cost much, repairs to joists and other structural elements may be costlier. If notice watermarks inside your home, tell the roofer about it and have them look at it to determine the type of repairs you will need to have done. 3. Adding An Additional Membrane To Flashing To Prevent Wear In addition to repairs, improvements can help you stop future problems. In areas where different sections of roof meet, there is often flashing, which can be metal and eventually wear. To protect these areas, ask your roofing contractor to install an additional rubber membrane beneath any metal flashing you have on your roof. 4.  Improvements To Eaves To Help Stop Ice Dams And Roof Damage In many climates that have heavy snow, ice dams can cause major problems with roofing. If you have a lot of snow, talk with your roofer about improvements to prevent ice dams. This can be things like a membrane at the eaves, thawing systems, or extra insulation in your attic. These are some of the extra costs you will want to prepare for when you replace your roof. If you are ready to have a new roof installed on your home, contact a roofing contractor like Ray’s Harford Home Improvement Contractors Inc and talk with them about some of the repairs and improvements your roof is going to...

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How To Use Recycled Granite Pieces To Build A Vanity Countertop

Posted by on Jan 14, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Use Recycled Granite Pieces To Build A Vanity Countertop

Broken pieces of old granite countertops are typically dumped into landfills, but you can use some of those pieces to make a custom-made vanity countertop if you like to recycle building material instead of throwing it away. Here is how you can recycle old broken pieces of granite to make a custom-made countertop for your bathroom vanity. Finding Broken Pieces of Granite You can find broken pieces of granite countertop at demolition sites. Among the best demolition sites to visit are old hotels, mansions, and churches that are being torn down that had adorned their bathrooms and kitchen areas with granite countertops. There are also stores online that specialize in selling recyclable materials from demolition projects where you can buy old pieces of granite countertops. Cutting Off Jagged Edges Putting a vanity countertop together from broken pieces of granite is similar to putting a puzzle together. However, with the old granite countertops, you’ll need to cut the pieces so they’ll fit together to form a new countertop. You also need trim the jagged edges on the pieces so they are flat and straight. Flat surfaces will help form a better seal when you glue the pieces together. Clamp a piece of granite onto the top of a work table. Make sure the jagged edge you are going to remove is over the end of the worktable. Mark the edge you want to cut off with a chalk line – this will help to make sure you do a straight cut. Put a diamond-tip saw blade on your circular saw. Diamond-tip blades are hard and tough, and are good to use for cutting through granite. Cut along the chalk line to remove the jagged edges on each piece. Cutting Sink Hole Find a piece of granite big enough to cut an opening to drop the bathroom sink through it. Draw an outline of the sink on top of the granite piece. Place blue painter’s tape on the outside of the markings to help you see the outline as you cut. Mark on the granite piece where the holes for the faucet will be placed. Use the grinder with the diamond blade to cut out the outline. Use a diamond-tip drill bit to cut out the holes for the faucet. Glue Pieces Together Set the pieces on top of the vanity and arrange them in the order you’ll be gluing them together. Make sure the surfaces of the pieces are even with one another. If you have to adjust the height of a piece, slide a small wedge under it to make it flush with the surface. Place a granite adhesive material between the sides of two pieces and push them together. Wait until the adhesive dries before connecting the other pieces to form the entire countertop. Gently scrap away any excess adhesive with a contractor’s single edge razor blade scrapper. Install the sink and faucets once the adhesive throughout the entire countertop has dried. For assistance, talk to a professional like A. Padilla Marble,...

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5 Space Saving Ideas

Posted by on Dec 27, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 5 Space Saving Ideas

If your New Year’s resolution is to get rid of clutter and save space, you should consider maximizing efficiency. With the right idea you can have more space than you thought possible. Here are five space saving ideas: 1. Doorway shelves Install shelves above your doorways to store objects. Doorways waste a lot of potential space. Why not think of a new and creative way to make that space usable? Install shelves above your kitchen doorway and store recipe books on it. You can also put a shelf above your bathroom door and store extra towels or toiletries. Doorway shelves are a great way to maximize space that would otherwise go unused. 2. Built in entertainment centers Entertainment centers are big and bulky. Build your entertainment center into the wall to make your living room large. If your wall is deep enough, your entertainment center can lie flat and you can install sliding walls. The sliding walls cover the entertainment center when it’s not in use. A hidden entertainment center not only gives you more space but allows you to transform your living room into a guest bedroom or an extra dining room when you have guests. 3. Stair storage Like doorways, stairs use a lot of space that tends to go to waste. Use the space underneath the stairs as a storage area. If there is a wall underneath your stairs, remodel the space to include a closet or cabinets. If the space is empty, install shelves. If the stairs are near your kitchen, you can also turn the area underneath your stairs into a pantry. 4. Loft beds Make the most of a guest bedroom by installing a loft bed. A loft bed adds space and flexibility. Place a desk underneath the loft bed to maximize efficiency. You can use the room when it’s not in use as an office, library, or play room. Loft beds are also a way to add space to your child’s room. 5. Built in appliances There is no room in which space is more valuable than the kitchen. In the kitchen, counter space is king. Built in appliances remove clutter from your counters. Build your microwave into the wall or in a cabinet to give yourself a few more feet on your counters. Add open shelves to store your toaster, blender, and coffee maker. You can even add electrical outlets to get these appliances permanently off the counters. These five space saving ideas will make your home organized and clutter-free. To learn more, contact a company like Gerald L Scott Custom...

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