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Update Your Home

Posted by on Apr 19, 2017 in Uncategorized |

There may be a few aspects of your home that you wish you could change. The home might have been built in the sixties or the seventies, and could look like it. You may want to change a few things in your home, but you really do not know where to start. Well, a great place to start is by contacting a really good contractor. You should have him come to your home and look at what you are thinking. The contractor will be able to give you ideas about what you can change in the home, but they will also be able to tell you how much it is going to cost you to do the renovations. Remodeling a home is an exciting time, and you want to make sure that it is perfect. Here are a few things that you can do to really update the home. Create More Space Some of the older homes had a lot of small rooms that make the home feel a lot smaller than it really is. This was sort of the style a few decades ago, but this is certainly not the way that you want your home to be. One thing that really opens up the home, and creates a more contemporary atmosphere is by opening up the home. The contractor is going to be able to do this by knocking out walls, and creating bigger, more comfortable rooms. When the contractor does this it is also going to give the home more natural light because there are not as many walls blocking the sunlight.  Cabinets Often a centerpiece to homes is the cabinets that you have. Most of the old countertops are really blocky and have a old feel to them. It is truly not hard to pick some cabinets that will brighten up he kitchen and bathrooms. The cabinets that you choose can be many different styles and colors, but they can definitely add a more updated feel to the home. Carpet A few decades ago shag carpet was very popular, and it is absolutely gross. You may want to look into updating your carpet. Your carpet is going to be one of the things that people notice first in your home. This can be for better or for worse. If you have really ugly shag carpet, you will most likely give off a negative first impression. However, if you have new updated carpet or hardwood your home will give off a great first...

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Trying To Reduce Garage Heat? Consider Replacing The Windows

Posted by on Apr 19, 2017 in Uncategorized |

Using the garage only as a place to keep your vehicles and other items may prevent you from worrying about the inside temperature as long as you are not storing things that need climate control. So, when you want to start using the garage as a place to exercise, read, or work on projects, you may realize how warm the space gets to the point that you may want to change your mind about using it regularly. It is best to look at how you can minimize the heat in the garage and one method is to replace the windows. Upgrade the Windows Although you may be able to replace the windows with exact replacements and get better results because they do not have any wear and tear, you should focus on upgrading them. This means you should get double-pane replacement windows when the ones that you are taking down are single-pane. It may not seem like much of a change, but this alone can account for a noticeable increase in the space’s energy efficiency. This will keep the space cooler as well as increase the value of using a portable air conditioner to stay comfortable. Maximize Airflow Potential The windows that are in your garage may be functional, but they may not help you much with airflow. Certain types of windows excel in one category but falter in another one. So, if you want to make it easy to open the windows and bring in lots of airflow, you should choose casement windows. These windows are best because you can open them up and avoid the frame getting in the way of creating airflow. Outfit Them with Window Treatments It is not uncommon for homeowners to go without window treatments on their garage windows. This is especially true if the windows are within a fenced in yard that makes it hard to peek inside. So, when you do replace them, you should get help from the window installation company to add treatments. An excellent option is to add window tinting to the glass to minimize how much sunlight gets in. You can even go for a minimal tint and then add roller shades for when you want even less light coming through. Replacing the windows in your garage is just one of several projects that you can take on to improve energy efficiency, but it will provide you with reliable results for several...

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3 Tips For Adding A Natural Gas Line To Your Home

Posted by on Apr 5, 2017 in Uncategorized |

Many of the appliances that are used within the home are powered by natural gas. If you are planning to complete a remodel or you are in the process of building an extension to your existing home, then you may find that you need to add a new gas line in order to accommodate the needs of your home appliances. Here are three tips that you can use to safely extend a gas line in your home in the future. 1. Invest in the right supplies. Having access to the right supplies is critical when it comes to adding a natural gas line to your home. You need to ensure that the pipe lengths, fittings, and joints that you purchase are designed specifically for use with natural gas. These supplies will be able to withstand the pressurized delivery of gas without breaking down. Using supplies that are not rated for natural gas could result in the premature degradation of your pipes and fittings, leaving your home susceptible to a natural gas leak. Be sure that you start with the right supplies when you are installing a new gas line in your home. 2. Assemble your new gas line in a home shop. Since the addition of a gas line can occur within a tight crawlspace or inside of a narrow opening in your home’s walls, it can be beneficial to take the time to assemble your new gas line in a home shop prior to installation. Completing the assembly process in a shop ensures that you will have the space and lighting needed to properly join pipes and fittings together in order to improve the performance and efficiency of your new gas line once it has been installed. 3. Always seal your pipe fittings to create an airtight connection. Eliminating the potential for leaks should be a top priority when it comes to installing a new gas line in your home. Poor connections between pipes and fittings can leave room for gas to leak out of the pipes and into your home, so you should always seal these areas properly. Coat the threaded end of a pipe or connection with pipe glue or tape. This will help the threads adhere firmly once connected to another section of pipe, preventing the potential for natural gas to leak out of the joints when the new gas line is put to use. Being able to install a new gas line will allow you to relocate existing appliances or add new ones in order to improve the convenience of your living space. Make the gas line installation process easier by purchasing the right supplies, assembling the gas line in a home shop, and sealing connecting joints to prevent...

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Home Construction: Know The Concrete Details Before You Hire Your Contractor

Posted by on Apr 4, 2017 in Uncategorized |

Concrete’s strength and durability make it the world’s number one construction material. It’s also very versatile. You can shape it, write, and draw in it, not to mention creating aesthetically pleasing colors inside and outside your home. Concrete uses vary widely from foundations to floors. It’s also economical, costing less than $100 per cubic yard. It’s important to gain all the “know-before-you-go” information before hiring a supplier or contractor for your construction project. Why Choose Concrete For A Home Construction Project? Depending on its application and locale, the type of concrete that you would use varies. Bags of quick-set used to anchor patio footings has a different aggregate to binder ratio than a supplier dropping off ready-mix for your new driveway. Keep in mind that the more water that is used in your mix, the weaker the concrete. Know your project; know your ratios. Your concrete professional can help you with understanding what’s in your mix and what’s best for your project. Timing Is Everything: The 90-Minute Rule As a rule, once mixed, concrete needs to be used quickly as its malleability lessens with time. Consider it a perishable material that needs to be used within 90 minutes (or according to manufacturer’s directions). When ordering concrete for delivery, the closer the location to its intended use, the better. Curing time depends on the project, weather and your locale. Concrete’s durability increases as it hardens, making it a top choice for consumers. What Projects Can You Use Concrete For? Concrete’s versatility makes it perfect for yards, garages and home interiors. Where will the project be located on your property? You will want to make sure that city ordinances and any association bylaws allow for property modification. Before you order any concrete, make sure your permits are in order and in hand. Also, make sure that you know exactly what you want regarding your project’s scope: size, shape, thickness, and aesthetics. Here’s a sampling of projects: Yard: concrete fire pits, outbuildings, hardscapes, pools Driveway: short or long driveways, shaped driveways, customized concrete driveways Sidewalk: residential, customizable Patio: pavers, stamped concrete, multi-level concrete patios Floors: garage floors, kitchen floors, takes well to color and stain Countertops: poured concrete, great for island tops, easily customizable Personalization/Styles Concrete allows you to put your personal stamp on your project by staining, adding color or pattern work. If you are having a professional personalize your concrete for you, have the agreed upon design, stain, pattern or color scheme spelled out in writing. Final Tips Get at least three bids for your project. Find contractors in your local area within that 90-minute mix-to-pour window and your home construction project’s on its...

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Should Your Next Roof Be a Rubber One?

Posted by on Mar 24, 2017 in Uncategorized |

Roofs are made from a variety of materials, each with their benefits and disadvantages. In the last few decades, rubber roofs have become an increasingly popular choice for both commercial and residential buildings. Here’s more information about rubber roofs to help you determine if this is the best type for your property. About Rubber Roofing Officially known as EPDM (ethylene propylene diene terpolymer), rubber roofs are made from a combination of recycled tire material, sawdust, and slate dust. These roofs are typically laid in one piece and only require a single layer of material. This significantly reduces installation time, which can help you save money on costs. Additionally, the single piece format means there are fewer seams which, in turn, reduce the number of areas where leaks can form from natural wear and tear. Rubber roofs tend to be cheaper than other roofs. Although they cost about $400 to $600 per 100 square feet—in comparison, asphalt shingles cost $120 to $400 per 100 square feet—their quick installation and low maintenance costs make them a cheaper investment over time. They tend to be more durable than other types of roofing materials, lasting between 30 and 50 years when properly maintained and are better able to repel environmental elements, such as rain and snow. Rubber roofs are perhaps most appropriate for flat roofs, because these roofs tend to have a problem with pooling water. The rubber can prevent water from penetrating the other materials underneath and leaking through to the inside of the building. Rubber Roofing Disadvantages Like any other roofing material, rubber roofs have their disadvantages with the most common being they can shrink as much as 5 percent over time. This contraction can cause the material to tear in unfortunate places and put stress on other roof equipment, such as flashings. Most of the time, however, this shrinking can be attributed to improper installation. Therefore, hiring a roofing contractor with a lot of experience with rubber roofs is a must. The other problem you may run into is the same with any rubber product and that’s it may puncture or rip more easily if hit with anything sharp. Even a small tear caused by a runaway screwdriver can lead to a big hole and leaks. Luckily, though, rubber is fairly easy and cheap to repair. As long as you’re inspecting the roof on a regular basis for this type of damage and get it fixed as soon as possible, you shouldn’t experience a lot of problems. For more information about rubber roofs, contact a roofing contractor like East Texas Roof Works & Sheet Metal...

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7 Aspects To Consider When Having Your Home Custom Built

Posted by on Mar 10, 2017 in Uncategorized |

If you are about to enter the process of having your new home custom built, there are several things you need to take into consideration. From the style and floor plan of your custom home to the custom home builders you choose, every decision you make will have a great impact on the final outcome. As you begin this new and exciting experience, here are 7 considerations to keep in mind: 1. Be Sure You Are Pre-Qualified for a Custom Construction Financing Loan Before you set out to find custom home builders, you’ll want to be certain that you pre-qualify for financing. This may help you avoid disappointment if you are not pre-approved. There may be various types of home construction loans available that you qualify for. Check with lenders to learn more. 2. Choose the Perfect Custom Home Builder The custom home builders you choose should be based upon your needs. For instance, when selecting your home builders, consider your price range. Define your requirements by considering the size of the home you will want built. Some custom home builders specialize in building homes in one size and price range, while many others build various-sized homes with a wider price range. Of course, you will want your home builder to be licensed and fully insured, as well as provide references from past clients. Did you know that in some states, it is not a requirement to be licensed to build homes? Experience counts as well, and generally speaking, the more experience a home builder has, the more confident you may feel. 3. Decide Upon the Right Location for Your New Home If you don’t already own the lot in which to build your new custom designed home, you will have to choose a lot and location that suits your needs. Your custom home builder can offer suggestions and help you in your decision of location. Custom home builders often have a variety of lots in various locations, so you will want to ponder this decision carefully. Alternatively, you might want to enlist the services of a land specialist when choosing your land. 4. Take a Tour of Model Homes Before You Decide This is an imperative step to take prior to the building process. After all, you will want to see various floor plans and home styles to give you inspiration and see first-hand how the home will suit your needs. Ask to tour various homes which the builder has constructed so you can see the work up close. To help you visualize the floor plans, your custom home builder may offer three-dimensional renderings for you to view at your leisure. After viewing the renderings, you can discuss any changes or additions you’d prefer before construction on your new home actually begins. 5. Inquire About the Warranty Coverage Having a new home custom built will typically include a warranty of the components inside, as well as the home itself. For your peace of mind, be sure the warranty is transferable to a new owner should you decide to sell your home in the near future. 6. Ask About Upgrades While having your new custom home built, you might want to consider upgrades and how they will fit into your financing budget. For instance, do you want hardwood floors?...

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3 Things That You Shouldn’t Do In Your Septic Drain Field

Posted by on Mar 10, 2017 in Uncategorized |

Your septic drain field might just look like a patch of your grass on your property, but if you aren’t careful, you could do damage to your septic tank and system if you aren’t careful about what you do in this area. These are a few things that you shouldn’t do in your septic drain field. 1. Drive If at all possible, it’s smart to avoid driving your vehicle over your septic drain field. This additional weight can be too much for this area to bear, and it can cause damage to your septic system if you aren’t careful, such as by crushing pipes. Even though occasionally driving over this area might not cause any damage, it’s best to avoid doing it when you can. Additionally, you should not park on top of your septic drain field, and if you are having a party or will otherwise have a lot of people parking on your property, you should consider roping this area off to prevent people from driving or parking there. 2. Plant Trees Did you know that planting trees and other plants that have major root systems can be a bad thing for your drain field and septic system? This is because as your plants grow, the roots can spread and can cause damage to pipes and the soil. Even though a few small plants with tiny root systems might not be a big deal, planting trees or other larger plants should be avoided. 3. Pouring Out the Wrong Things Chemicals can affect your septic system’s health. Not only should you be careful about what you pour down your drains and flush down your toilet, but you should also be careful about what you pour out in your drain field. Be cautious about pouring out cleaning supplies, paint, pesticides and other similar products in the drain field area. Otherwise, you have to worry about the good bacteria in your septic system being killed, making it impossible for your system to properly do its job. As you can see, there are a few simple things that you should keep in mind in your drain field area if you want to keep your septic tank and its accompanying system working as they are supposed to. Otherwise, you might find that your septic system could be seriously damaged, and pipes may have to be replaced, or your septic tank might have to be pumped prematurely because it is not able to do its job as it is supposed to. For repairs and cleanup, call professionals like Moon Site &...

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Why Opting For A Gravel Driveway Is Ideal

Posted by on Mar 6, 2017 in Uncategorized |

There are many types of materials that can be used for paving a driveway. However, some of the materials are more durable than others. If you are fed up with the amount of maintenance that your driveway needs each year, it might be time to switch to a different type of material. Gravel is a great pavement material choice for numerous reasons, so you should consider investing in some. Take a look at this article to learn about some of the things that makes a gravel driveway a wise investment. Your Driveway Will Flood Less Often One of the problems that many homeowners have with their driveways is improper drainage when it rains. Water can sit on the pavement for a long time before it is gone, which can cause many problems. The great thing about a gravel driveway is that the water will drain off of the surface in a timely manner. The water will simply seep down into the rocks. There will be a smaller chance of flooding when it rains. Different Gravel Types Are Available for Appeal Don’t think that your driveway will have no appeal if you opt for gravel. You will be happy to know that gravel is actually available in numerous colors, so you can make the driveway look as appealing as you desire it to be. Appeal can also be added by choosing specific sizes of gravel and getting creative. A contractor can give you design ideas if you are unable to come up with one on your own. There Will Be Little Maintenance Involved The best thing about using gravel for driveway construction is that you won’t have to do much maintenance. Less maintenance also means that there will be less money spent on repairs. If the gravel becomes uneven as time passes by, you can actually use a rake to fix the problem. If you ever develop pot holes due to gravel being displaced, you can easily purchase new gravel and fill the holes in on your own. Professional Paving Assistance Will Be Affordable You will enjoy the affordability of getting a gravel driveway constructed by a professional. There is less work involved with the paving process, so you will have lower labor fees to pay. The driveway can also be completed in a timely manner, which is another reason why you won’t have to spend a lot of money on getting it constructed. For more information on gravel, contact a company like The Dirt Hauling...

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2 Sump Pump Backup Options

Posted by on Mar 1, 2017 in Uncategorized |

If you live in an area where you rely on a sump pump to keep your basement dry, making sure that it does not fail is probably very important to you. After all, if your sump pump stops working at a critical moment, you could find yourself dealing with major flooding in your basement and even into the rest of your home. Making sure that your existing sump pump is in good condition is a good way to protect yourself, but you may still want to have a backup option. These are your two main options to consider. 1. Install a Battery Back-Up System One popular choice is to install a battery back-up system on your existing sump pump. This can be a good choice because it does not require you to buy an additional system, so it can be more affordable if you are on a budget. Basically, if the power goes out in your home, the battery back-up system should kick in and make sure that your sump pump is still working. It is still important to make sure that your sump pump is kept in good condition because you won’t have another system to fall back on in the event that the sump pump itself stops working rather than just losing power. 2. Install a Battery-Powered, Back-Up System Another option, and one that you might want to consider if you have a little more to spend or if you are particularly concerned about flooding, is to install a secondary system that is also powered by a battery. Then, if the power goes out or if your primary pump fails for another reason, your back-up system will turn on and will take over the job. This option can be much more expensive than simply buying a battery system for your existing sump pump. The good thing, however, is that you will have an entire back-up system to rely on in the event that something goes wrong with your primary system. As you can see, you do have your options when it comes to choosing a back-up system for your sump pump. Don’t just wait until something happens to start looking into a back-up system; instead, consider talking to a sump pump installation professional about these two options. Then, you can assess your needs and budget and can choose the one that is right for your home. Check out http://www.rite-waywaterproofing.com for more...

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Migrating To VoIP? Make Sure Your Fire Alarm System Can Handle The Transition

Posted by on Nov 8, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Fire alarm systems play a pivotal role in saving lives and, in many cases, limiting property damage. Transitioning your building from traditional phone service to Voice over IP (VoIP) can cause some unexpected problems, including how to handle fire alarm monitoring in a reliable manner. When dealing with older protocols, older equipment, and tight timetables, it’s important to understand how the switchover can affect fire systems communications and learn ways to mitigate the various issues posed by VoIP networking. The Problem with Leaving POTS Behind For decades, Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS) was the undisputed standard for most communications, including fire warning equipment. Nearly every building is wired for POTS, and older National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) codes required buildings to maintain at least one dedicated POTS line. These days, POTS usage is quickly falling by the wayside in favor of other technologies that are making use of improved Internet protocol (IP) communications. But leaving POTS in the dust poses plenty of challenges for anyone making the switch to VoIP. Unlike analog networks that are optimized for voice communication, IP networks are optimized for data. Data compatibility issues stemming from the conversion of analog signals into digital format can prevent analog dialers on older fire alarm panels from successfully sending the correct signals to a monitoring station. Power outages can also pose a problem for fire alarm panels reliant on VoIP. A POTS line supplies its own power and fails only when a line at the interface box is cut or when there’s an outage originating with the phone company. In contrast, a power outage can interrupt modem and router equipment, taking the VoIP line with it until power is restored. Weaknesses in VoIP Attempts to integrate older fire alarm systems into a VoIP network often reveal weaknesses in VoIP itself: Errors in sampling can occur when converting analog signals into usable digital data, resulting in portions of the alarm tone information being lost. Hardware or software failures that prevent certain VoIP accessory devices from working can also prevent the fire alarm system from transmitting its signals. Internet connection instability problems caused by heavy traffic, cyber-attacks, or other uncontrollable issues can disrupt fire alarm monitoring service. Cellular to the Rescue Upgrading your fire alarm panel may be the easiest way to mitigate issues surrounding older panels and VoIP, but budgetary concerns may rule out such a drastic move. In the meantime, there are a number of alternatives available that resolve the above issues with VoIP. One such alternative involves the use of cellular communications for fire alarm signal transmission. GSM communicators allow fire alarm panels to transmit signals over GSM cellular networks — the same networks used for cell phones worldwide. This feature completely bypasses VoIP, giving you an alternative that isn’t affected by the limitations of VoIP systems. GSM communicators can be easily integrated into existing fire alarm panels, making them an inexpensive alternative when compared to a complete systems upgrade. GSM communicators are also able to transfer more data to the monitoring station, allowing fire alarm panels to communicate not only the existence of an alarm, but also detailed information on where the alarm is located. This detailed information can help firefighters mount a more effective response to fires. According to Rodger Reiswig, Director of Industry Relations...

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Plumbing a Wet Bar in Your Oft-Flooded Basement? What Precautions Should You Take?

Posted by on Sep 22, 2016 in Uncategorized |

If you’ve always dreamed of spending time in your own basement bar, you may already be outlining construction plans in your head. Although building a wet bar from scratch can take more than a few weekends of work (not to mention some do-it-yourself blog reading and viewing of online videos), the project is achievable for the handy homeowner. However, if your basement tends to take on water after your area has received rain for more than a few days in a row, successfully plumbing a wet bar can become more complicated, and failing to control the flow of floodwater into your basement while generating outflow through the drains and dishwasher can result in more than wet socks. Read on for some of the factors you’ll want to consider and preliminary steps you should take before undertaking construction of a basement wet bar.  What should you do to eliminate flooding issues before building a bar? Building and plumbing a basement bar becomes much less complex when you’ve already undertaken efforts to eliminate flooding issues in your basement once and for all. Your first steps will likely vary somewhat depending upon the source of your flooding. In some cases, a house is simply constructed on or near a floodplain so that some seepage is unavoidable. However, by insulating the interior walls of your home with a moisture-retardant barrier and then installing an additional layer of drywall on top of this barrier, you’ll be able to prevent much of the floodwater from seeping directly through your walls. A moisture barrier on the outside of your foundation (for partially-submerged basements) can also help.  You’ll also want to ensure that your sump pump is up to the task of constant pumping through floods—and if you don’t already have a sump pump, a heavy-duty one should be your next home investment. This pump will be submerged beneath the floor surface in your basement, where it can pump out any rising groundwater and ensure that it doesn’t breach the underside of your home’s foundation.  Finally, you’ll want to check—and perhaps update—the backflow valves on each of the drainage pipes running from your basement. These valves are crucial in preventing floodwater or backed-up sewage from returning into your home through its drainage pipes, and a failed or broken backflow valve can cause major plumbing problems during heavy rain. You may need to enlist the services of a plumber to survey your sump pump and backflow valves to ensure they’re in good working condition and up to the task of the additional water and waste needs of a wet bar.  What types of plumbing are best for basements that tend to flood?  In some cases, you may be better off simply constructing a holding tank (like a miniature septic tank that can be pumped more easily) rather than connecting your basement’s wet bar to your home’s drainage pipes. You’ll still be able to take advantage of your home’s water supply without risking clogs, backed-up pipes, or other plumbing issues often inherent with waste pipes that need to flow upward.  However, if you’re planning heavy or frequent usage of your basement bar, you’ll likely be best served by hooking up with the rest of your home’s plumbing. You may need to invest in a sewage pump that will help force...

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