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Home Renovations: Installing a New Driveway

How To Make Your Home’s Entry More Welcoming

Posted by on Jan 3, 2017 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Make Your Home’s Entry More Welcoming

When people arrive at your home, you probably want them to feel as welcome as possible. Luckily, there are a few ways that you can make your home’s entry even more welcoming. Try these tips if you’d like to do so. Paint Your Front Door Many people keep their front door in a similar color to their siding. However, this can make your home’s entry a bit boring. One great way to make your entry more welcoming and to make your home really “pop” is to paint your front door in a nice, bright color that coordinates with and complements your home. Colors like blue or burgundy are great for front doors. Make it Well-Lit You don’t want anyone to have a hard time making their way to your front door. One way to make it a lot safer for people to approach your front door and to make it look a lot more welcoming is to make sure that it’s well-lit, so consider adding lighting to the front door area. Not only can this make your front door more approachable and easier to see, but it can also help you show off your landscaping. Add a “Welcome” Mat There are a ton of welcome mats on the market, so you are sure to be able to find one that is the perfect addition to your front door area. Choose one in a nice color and style, and you can make your home’s entry doors that much more welcoming. Plus, as an added bonus, you can help ensure that no one tracks in dirt or mud when they walk into your home, which is a good way to keep things neat and clean. Add Plants Plants are a great addition to any exterior area of your home, and they can do particularly well at your front entry. Whether you choose to plant pretty flowers and shrubs alongside the outside of your home or if you place a few potted plants just outside of your front door, people are sure to notice the beautiful live plants when they approach your front door. If you would like to make your home that much more approachable and if you’d like to add a bit of curb appeal to your home, following these tips can help. Once you do, people are sure to feel welcomed as they approach your home, and you might be surprised by how beautiful your front entry looks from the road as...

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Have Someone That Is Elderly Living Alone On Your Street? 2 Ways How You Can Help Them

Posted by on Dec 12, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Have Someone That Is Elderly Living Alone On Your Street? 2 Ways How You Can Help Them

If you have someone that is elderly living alone on your street, you should help them as much as you can. Below are two things you should consider doing for them to help you get started. Stay Cool and Warm The summer heat and winter cold can be dangerous no matter if it is inside or out. This is especially true for someone that is elderly. If the elderly person you are helping has an air conditioning unit installed, and it is not working, have it repaired for them. Visit with them and you can easily tell if their house is warm or cool enough. If it is not, check the thermostat to see if it is set correctly. If it is, then the unit itself likely has problems. Contact an HVAC contractor to come to the home and service the unit. They can do maintenance on it and check it for repairs. If problems are found, ask the contractor to go ahead and repair the unit. If the HVAC unit is old, you may want to consider replacing it. If your elderly neighbor cannot afford this, you can do this yourself or get with other people in the neighborhood to help pay for it. Make Their Home Safer Because this person is elderly, they have a higher risk of falling and hurting themselves. You can help with this by making some changes to their home to make them safer. One thing you can do is to install grab bars in the shower to help them get in and out. Install grab bars near the toilet to help them sit down and stand up. Put rubber mats in the bathtub to keep them from slipping. Install lighting in hallways and stairs to ensure they are lit enough for the elderly person to be able to see well. Tape area rugs that are on the floor so they do not slip when the elderly person steps on them. Check the locks on the doors to ensure they are all working properly. Check the window to make sure they are locked. If it is in your budget, have a security system installed in their home. This system should also have a medical alert system. This should also include a bracelet the elderly person can wear so they can easily get help if they fall. Talk with other people in your neighborhood about helping you take care of the elderly person. You could set up a schedule to check on them regularly so not one person has to do...

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Maintaining Flat Roofs During the Fall and Winter Months

Posted by on Nov 22, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Maintaining Flat Roofs During the Fall and Winter Months

Flat roofs present special maintenance requirements, but when the weather starts to turn colder, there are some special considerations that need to be addressed. When snow and ice become a concern, it is better to have prepared ahead of time then to have to deal with damage after it has happened. Here are a few things to think about as the weather starts to cool but before it turns frigid. Removing Debris and Inspecting the Roof Take a few minutes in the fall to inspect the roof and look for damage that may allow moisture to build up under the roofing material. While you are up there, clear off any debris that is on the roof from low-hanging trees or other obstructions. A fallen limb or small sticks could become a problem when covered with snow and ice, so a little prevention now can make a huge difference later. Clear Drainage Systems Before the Snow Flies While you are up on the roof, take a few minutes to check all the drains for debris that may be blocking them, along with the gutters, if your building has them. This is the time to clean them out and get everything around them removed. Blocked drains or gutters will allow water to sit on the roof, and this can cause damage in the long term. Sealing the Cracks During your inspection of the roof, keep an eye out for cracks in the roofing materials. If there are any cracks, they need to be repaired or sealed right away. Cracks in the roofing will allow water to seep in and under the roofing material, damaging the wood underneath. Depending on the roofing material, you may have to replace sections of the roof, but a commercial roofing contractor will be able to tell you what is best in your situation. Keeping the Heat In While this is not necessarily part of the roof, there is another concern to address before the weather turns cold. Insulation between the roof and ceiling is critical in cold climates. If you are lacking the proper insulation in that space, the heat will escape through the roof, and this can affect your electricity bill, but more concerning is that this can melt the snow on the roof from underneath. The moisture will be trapped, and when temperatures drop, the water can refreeze and form ice dams that will not allow moisture to run off to the drains or gutters.The buildup of water or moisture can find its way in and under the roofing material, causing damage to the roof structure. Talk to a company such as East Texas Roof Works & Sheet Metal LLC. for more...

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Tips for Identifying a Ranch Home and How to Choose the Best Roofing Material

Posted by on Oct 27, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tips for Identifying a Ranch Home and How to Choose the Best Roofing Material

Ranch style homes are often mentioned and pointed out, but the relative simplicity of the home sometimes backfires and leads to false identifications. If you think your home is a Ranch, but you’re not positive, there are a few tips for identifying the style and knowing for certain. That knowledge can help you choose the best building materials when working with roofing contractors on a repair or replacement project. Identifying a Ranch Home Ranch style homes have a one-story design with a floor plan that can resemble a simple rectangle or have more of an L-shape, depending on whether the home has a built-in garage. The home will have either wood or brick in the siding to help the home blend in well with the surrounding nature. A Ranch home has little ornamentation. Windows have shutters and sliding glass doors break up the straight lines of the house but you won’t see any other decorative designs on the home. The roof will have a similar simplicity with its modified, low-pitch gable roof with a potential cross-gable if the house has the L-shape. Best Roofing: Wood Shingles Wood shingles pair well with either the wood or masonry siding found on a Ranch home. The shingles continue the nature inspiration for the home while still adding a touch of visual interest. Choose a shingle stain color that complements the shingles or wood siding rather than perfectly matching the colors. If you want to make a bolder visual statement on the roof, you can instead choose wood shakes. The shakes came from the same type of wood as the shingles but shakes have a rougher, rustic cut than the smoother shingles. The texture can help add dimension to your Ranch roof. Best Roofing:  Asphalt Shingles Are project costs your primary concern when undergoing the roofing project on your Ranch? Wood roofing isn’t the cheapest roofing material around and the potential for weather damage also means you might have some maintenance costs in the near future. Consider using asphalt shingles as your roofing material instead. The composite asphalt shingles have a lightweight design, which sometimes makes these shingles a bad choice for gable roofs due to the steep sides amplifying wind damage. But the modified, lower-sloping sides of the Ranch gable mean the wind damage isn’t as large of a risk. Asphalt shingles are low maintenance and will ensure your project costs stay low since the composite material is one of the least expensive roofing supplies...

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Tips For Choosing Natural Stone For Your Bathroom Countertops

Posted by on Oct 11, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tips For Choosing Natural Stone For Your Bathroom Countertops

If you’re designing or remodeling your master bathroom, you may spend a lot of time considering materials for the walls, floors, and shower stall. However, at a certain point you’ll want to turn your attention to the vanity tops. While these countertops don’t get as much use as those in the kitchen, your choice in material still influences both how the vanity looks and how well it holds up to daily tasks. Consider installing natural stone for your vanity countertops. Look into Reliable Granite Granite is one of the most popular materials for kitchen countertops because of its durability and beauty. As Home and Garden TV points out, these qualities make it ideal for the master bathroom as well. Granite comes in so many colors and patterns that you could select this material for virtually any design style. For example, black granite with minimal veining would make a bold complement in an ultra-modern bathroom, while a slab with a beige base and warm speckling would look inviting in a rustic bathroom. Consider Luxurious Marble If you have a Mediterranean-style bathroom or want to create a spa feel, marble is a good option. Marble promotes instant luxury in your bathroom, and you can even carry it through to the shower stall or other tile work. Marble takes a little more upkeep than granite – you’ll need to have it re-sealed on a regular basis. However, natural marble will develop a beautiful patina over time. Get Creative with a Different Stone Though granite and marble are more standard, you could also choose from slate, soapstone, limestone, or sandstone. Each of those stones comes with its own design profile. For example, slate is typically matte black, but it also comes in black, green, or purple. It also offers an organic look suitable for more casual spaces. If you want a really organic look, consider a slab of limestone with charming fossils embedded in the rock. Sandstone, with its coarse graining, is an attractive addition to a beach-style bathroom. For a chic effect, consider the cool gray of soapstone – it’s also the densest and least porous of all the non-traditional stones. Match the Edging to the Design Style No matter your natural stone selection, you’ll also have choices in the edging. An eased or square edge is the most common, and it will fit in with any design style. If you have a more luxurious bathroom, you could consider a bullnose or ogee edge. Both of these are rather ornate. A creative edge for modern or industrial style bathroom is aggregate. Here the edge is left “natural,” as if the contractors just broke the stone off. Choose stone countertops for both durability and beauty in your bathroom vanity top. For more information, contact a professional in your area or visit a website...

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2 Things To Think About When You Are Building Your First Horse Barn

Posted by on Sep 22, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 2 Things To Think About When You Are Building Your First Horse Barn

When you decide to build your first horse barn to bring your new horse to, you want to get it right from the very first. If you design it correctly, you will have plenty of room to work with your horse inside and plenty of room for other horses when you decide that you want to add on. So, what are some things that you should plan for and make sure that you have in your horse barn? Live With Your Property For Some Time You don’t want to buy a new property and immediately start building a horse barn. Spend a few months or even a year on the property before you build. The reason for that is you are going to see everything the property has to offer, where the swampy spots are, where the shady spots are, and where the really hot spots are. Once you know that, you know where all the good places to build a barn are.  You can also track the way the wind and weather around your property. If the wind generally moves from one direction, you want to build your barn so that it doesn’t blow right into your barn. That will drive snow and rain into the barn. If you don’t want precipitation blowing into your house, why would your horse? You may also want to see if you can place the barn behind a natural windbreak, just as an added protection.  Create a Way to Create Spaces Your horse will have their own stalls, but you may have a time when you have a horse that needs to be isolated for some reason. They may be recuperating from an injury or you have a new horse that you want to carefully introduce to the rest of your horses. In that case, you might not want to leave them in their stall all the time. Even the most comfortable stall is going to start wearing on your horse after some time. So, create some spaces where you can let your horse out from their stall and let them have a little bit of space. You can do that in a couple ways. One is to have a large room with storage on one end. You can install a gate in the middle, and use the other end for your horse to have some space.  Getting a new horse is exciting. If you are going to build a horse barn, make sure you keep a few things in mind for your horse’s comfort and for your own comfort. Then contact a contractor from a company like Swiss...

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3 Gutter Improvements That Will Prevent Repair, Leaks, And Water Damage

Posted by on Aug 31, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Gutter Improvements That Will Prevent Repair, Leaks, And Water Damage

Gutters can be a great addition to your home, but they also need to have maintenance like gutter cleans. Lack of regular maintenance can lead to repair needs and even serious damage to your home. To prevent these problems, you may want to have some improvements done. This can include solutions like better fastening systems, gutter guards, and even seamless gutters. Here are a few of the things that you can do to prevent damage to your gutters and your home. 1. Keep Debris Out And Avoid Ice Dams With Gutter Guards The debris that gets inside your gutters can lead to a lot of problems. It causes water to settle, and eventually rots. This moist material can add so much weight to the gutters that they eventually come loose. It can also be a starting point for leaks. Adding gutter guards can help reduce the problems that you may have with debris in your gutters. In addition, newer solid guards are an excellent choice for Northern climates where the winter weather can cause ice dams that cause wear on shingles and leaks on the roof. 2. Improve Fastening Systems And Add A Roofing Membrane At Eaves There are many different ways to fasten gutters. Conventionally, a long spike-like nail has been used to do this. The problem will nails is that with the expanding and contracting of wood, they can eventually work their way look. Using something like screws or special nails with ribbed edges called ring-shanked nails can be a good way to prevent this types of problems. In addition, you may want to add a layer of roofing membrane on the first rows of shingles on your roof. This can help prevent water getting beneath shingles at the gutters, as well as give extra protection from shingle wear due to debris or ice dams. 3. Install Seamless Gutters And Reinforce Areas With Seams To Prevent Leaks Seamless gutters are another solution that you may want to consider for your home. These sections of gutters are continuous and do not have the seams that are prone to leaks. There will still be seems at areas like corners, but there is less risk of leaks and problems in the middle of sections. In addition, seamless gutters can also have reinforced corners that help prevent these problems to ensure your gutters do not have leaks. With the right improvements, you gutter will last long, need fewer repairs, and protect your home from damage. If you want to improve your gutters, click here for more...

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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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