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Author: Tommy Hisuke

Reasons to Waterproof Your Basement

Reasons to Waterproof Your Basement

Reduced Utility bills

In summer, the humidity level goes up in your home, which will make it more expensive to keep your house cool. On the other hand, in winter, the heat will escape through the cracks in the foundation making it more expensive to keep your house warm. Waterproofing insulates all of your house reducing your utility bills significantly.

Protection from the damage caused by Flooding

One of the main reasons why basements get damaged is flash floods. According to the reports released by the National Insurance Program (NFIP), floods cause billions of dollars damage each year. In fact, it’s one of the most dangerous natural phenomena. If you take the steps to waterproof your basement, you can protect your property from water damage. After all, you don’t want to ruin your valuables.

Prevention of Mold and Mildew

Even if you don’t have the risk of flood in your area, you may still have to deal with the problem of mold and mildew, especially during the rainy season. The growth of mold and mildew can create a lot of health problems, such as asthma, allergies, skin irritation, and cough, just to name a few.

Prevention of Cracks

Moisture is another problem that may have an impact on the health of your basement. Due to temperature fluctuations, cracks may appear on the basement foundation, which may pose a serious threat to the structure of your house. Therefore, waterproofing is the best technique to fix the leaks and cracks.

Increased Value

Actually, a basement that is waterproof increases the value of your property. Moreover, it can also make your house more secure. You will also enjoy a better return on your investment.

Make House Look Bigger and Spacious

Make House Look Bigger and Spacious

Use light color paint on the walls

When the walls in a room are painted with dark colors, it makes the room seem a bit cozier due to that they absorb light. Whereas when the walls are painted with bright colors, it helps to make a room more spacious since light easily gets reflected around the room.

Ensure furniture’s aren’t placed closed to the wall

Creating space between the wall and furniture creates the illusion of a large room; this makes the room look more open unlike when you place them close to the wall which makes the area look cramped.

Use light colors on the floor also

Just like in the case of a brightly painted wall, a brightly colored floor also gives a room a spacious outlook. You can opt for a floor remodeling if you are up for it or simply just get a brightly colored rug or carpet.

Place shelves close to the ceiling to get people to look up.

You can make a small space look bigger by putting structures in place to draw the eye towards the ceiling. And one effective way you can achieve this is to hang a shelf close to the ceiling. It can be a book shelf or one with an array of decorations that are pleasing to the eyes.

Make use of large decorative accents

Accenting a room with large decorations such as tall vases or handcrafted items can get it to look large. This is because few large decorations in a room give it a detailed outlook unlike when you cramp it up with smaller decorations scattered here and there.

Go for furniture’s that makes a statement

So you want the living room to be a lot spacious to make room for air and light, a simple way to achieve this is to make use of a large couch instead of several small pieces which makes it look a lot cluttered.

Place a striped rug on the floor

This works perfectly in a small bedroom. Placing a striped rug like that of a zebra makes your room appear bigger.

Use color coding on shelves

Arranging items on shelves according to colors makes space looked structured and organized which ultimately gives the room a spacious appeal.

Pros and Cons of Vinyl Siding

Pros and Cons of Vinyl Siding

Pros

Vinyl siding is mostly admired for its extreme versatility. It comes in a wide range of colors, styles, textures, and more, which makes customizing the look of your home an easy task. Aside from versatility, vinyl is very low maintenance. Caring for it is simple, and there is very little you need to do to make it last a long time. Furthermore, installation is quick and easy, and the cost comparison to other options on the market is very low. It is one of the most affordable choices for residential siding you can buy.

Here are some more pros to this versatile material:

  • Very durable;
  • Lasts between 30 and 40 years with good care;
  • Endless color options and schemes;
  • Very low maintenance;
  • Easy to clean and care for;
  • Insulated options increase energy efficiency;
  • Cheapest siding option on the market;

Cons

There are not many drawbacks to vinyl siding, however, there are a few attributes that are important for you to know in order to make an educated decision. For instance, it is not waterproof. Although it is water-resistant, poor installation can let water leak behind the panels and cause rot, mold, and mildew. Also, many homeowners have complained that the color option is too permanent with vinyl siding. Whatever color you choose, it will always be that color. That is because plastic exterior siding cannot be repainted like other siding materials.

Another common con to this material is the potential for the boards to warp, bend, or dent. This can happen from a string impact or extreme summer heat. Homeowners also complain that whole panels must be replaced because there is no patchwork in vinyl siding. Some additional common complaints about vinyl siding include:

  • 90% of homes have vinyl siding, so it’s not always the most unique;
  • Lawn mowers, weed trimmers, and even high winds can rip panels off;
  • Faulty installation can lead to water leaks, rot, mold, and decay;
  • It can crack in extreme cold weather, and warp in hot weather;

Installing An Adequate Ventilation System

Installing An Adequate Ventilation System

Importance Of Ventilating Your Home

If your home is damp and has a musty smell, ventilation can help to keep your home dry and ensure that the indoor air is fresh and clean. Ventilation gets rid of the stale indoor air and replaces it with fresh air from the outside. There are different methods of ventilating your home such as the natural method. Natural ventilation is the free flow of air into the home from doors, windows and openings around the building. However, if you are living in a home that is insulated, you will need to have a mechanical ventilation system that will air your home.

The Use Of Mechanical Ventilation

You can opt to use mechanical ventilation in order to effectively get rid of stale air from your home. You can decide to install fans in the specific location where moisture build up and pollution is originating from in the home. For instance, you can install fans in the bathroom, kitchen or on the sub floor to get rid of moist air and replace it with drier air from outside. You can also decide to use whole house ventilation where the entire house is ventilated by a set of fans which bring in the fresh air and duct systems which get rid of the stale air.

Heat Recovery Ventilator

A heat recovery ventilator (HRV) is an efficient home ventilation system which captures the heat from the outgoing stale air to heat up the incoming fresh cold air. A HRV is made up of a fan which brings in the fresh air and another fan which gets rid of the stale air. The system has a core where the exchange of heat from the stale air to the clean air takes place.

The core where the transfer of heat takes place has a thin route through which the stale and fresh air passes. However, the stale and fresh air does not mix at any point during the heat transfer. An HRV is able to retain about eighty-five percent of the heat from the outgoing stale air which makes it an efficient ventilation method. During the warm summer days, the HRV can take the heat from the incoming air and transfer it to the stale outgoing air thus allowing you to enjoy the cool clean air.

Contacting A Ventilation Expert

In order to get the best home ventilation system, it is a good idea to contact a ventilation expert who will assess your home from the ground to the roof. The expert will then recommend a ventilation system that will effectively air your home. You should ensure that the system which is installed is quiet enough and has a warranty.

Attic Ventilation

Attic Ventilation

Your attic, like most areas of your home, requires proper air circulation. There different ways on how to achieve enough airflow in this particular area. A homeowner can buy ventilation solutions in the market of apply different techniques to ensure there is sufficient air flowing through the attic.

Should you find signs of poor ventilation in your attic, you should consult professionals immediately. The sooner you find and fix the problem, the better it is for your home. There are a number of solutions available, but there is no single solution for everything. The homeowner or the professional paid to fix the problem must assess what type of solution would work best and for the long-term. Here’s a number of solutions for your home:

  1. Ridge vent – this type of solution is, as its name suggests, a vent installed along the ridge line of your house. Before this type of vent is installed, roof decking is cut to allow air to flow through. It is highly essential that no other areas of the home block air from coming in or out.
  2. Soffit vents – every roofing system needs to have air entry and exit points to keep it cool and dry. The soffit vents also work in conjunction with ridge vents and let air pass right through. However, in areas where the roofline meets the attic floor, insulation baffles must be put in place to prevent airflow from being restricted.
  3. Attic fans – this solution is quite better as it does not rely on natural wind to ventilate the attic. Fans can be installed on the roofing system which sucks the air out when needed. Some newer models incorporate a thermostat which automatically turns on the fans to keep a stable temperature in the attic. Solar powered fans are also available, which would be beneficial since this would mean the fans can be self-sufficient. However, the costs associated with this solution raises a couple of questions. So, do attic ventilation fans work at all? The answer is yes.

As it is commonly known, fans dedicated to ventilate can easily introduce air or push air out of a home with ease. Unlike natural, free-flowing systems, these fans work at a much more efficient pace. There’s also the option for users to control the temperature within certain areas to prevent moisture buildup and other problems caused by stale air.

Make Home Improvement on Budget a Reality

Make Home Improvement on Budget a Reality

Identify Misses

First of, when you are on budget it is important to identify the areas which require replacement or improvement in your home. For, the prime purpose of home improvement is to ensure no pending repairs post the renovation. This would help you plan the direction of the entire home repair project. Depending on the nature of projects you can decide upon the budget, duration and other factors for home improvement.

Gear up for change

Now you can gear up for the change you need. You should research online and visit home décor shops to get ideas for the purpose. You can save a lot of money by DIY on your previous, used or antique furniture, fittings and cabinets. It is important to check out price differences offered by second-hand shops, antique shops and online lists.

Knowing the expenses helps you get ready for the expenditure too. You can also check out your credit limit available. Home improvements can be one of the smart ways to enhance the valuation of your home. You can also check out if you are eligible for homeowner loans. Leveraging home equity you can draw substantial funding without any hassles.

Some handy home renovation hacks on budget

  • Kitchen. Kitchen is one place where whole family meets multiple times in a day. A change in the look of kitchen space can transform the feel of your entire home. You can consider changing the colour or cabinet doors for this. Do not forget to visit thrift stores or reuse centers to find the surprisingly cheap deals. Go for contrasting colour and you would revolutionise the appearance of your home. Also pay attention to kitchen lighting. If you need to replace any of the electronic or kitchen gadgets, opt for energy-efficient replacements. It would save you energy bills and keep your home updated.
  • Living Room. A renovation cannot be complete without bringing change in the living room. For low-cost home improvement, consider redoing the furniture placement. A simple shift of couch from right to left can bring more than expected alteration to your home view. In case you have a centre wall, consider using a bright and unique colour for that wall. Then deck it up with picture art, wall art or an embellished stole gifted by your grandma. The bright walls can steal the attention from other little flaws around. If you need a new couch, consider using the old frame and get it covered up in a contemporary style. This would bring the modern look with least expense.
  • Bed Rooms. Changing bed room furniture could be expensive. You can consider changing the bedding, rug, curtains, cushions and every other add-on in your room. If your side tables are old-fashioned, you can consider using attractive wall paper on the front of drawers. It would not only bring a new look but would also cease the boredom owing to old furniture. Another quick hack could be using darker colour for ceiling. Change in the colour of ceiling would bring a novel look in your personal space. We watch more of the ceilings in the bed rooms after all!
  • Lavatory. Do not overlook leakages and chipped paint as they are common in the bathroom area. Change faucets if there is any fault. Try to organise if you have too many objects in your bathroom. Besides, simply changing the mug, bucket and rug can beautify your lavatory. You can introduce an attractive canvas cover for the new feel.
  • Front and Patio space. For small apartments, an additional sitting space can add enough value to the property. You can consider de-cluttering the backyard and incorporating chair for 2 people at least. You can add a beautiful cushion to an organiser and create a seat. This add-on would not cost more than £20 and enliven the dull space in your home.

Maintaining Vinyl Siding

Maintaining Vinyl Siding

  • Be sure to keep any shrubbery around the home trimmed back so that the branches cannot poke or scratch the siding. Failing to do this will result in the coating on the siding being scratched, nicked or punctured thus making the siding susceptible or mildew and mold.
  • No matter what type of siding you have on your home. It is important to take time to clean it, at least once a year. With vinyl, you can do this by using a soft scrub brush, soapy water, and a water hose for rinsing. Yes, you can use a power washer but be sure to keep it at the lowest setting and take care not to use excessive force.
  • In the event that you do discover dents, punctures or scratching, replace the piece as soon as possible. Be sure in doing this, that you use a siding removal tool so you can avoid damaging the surrounding pieces of siding.
  • Make time to clean your gutters- especially during the spring and fall or after a heavy storm as this will help keep the siding clean and prevent risk of damage to the siding.

It is also worth noting that while most people opt to have vinyl siding in a color they like, it you purchase a home with siding in a color you do not like, it can be painted. It will take two coats of 100% latex paint and the paint will need to be re-applied every two years in order to always look great.

Tips to Consider Before Buy Plantation Shutters

Tips to Consider Before Buy Plantation Shutters

The type of wood

Since poplar wood is light, straight, and smooth, it’s a great choice for plantation shutters. The average height of a poplar tree is 160 feet and the trunk can be as much as 80 feet in diameter. So, it’s a good idea to opt for this type of wood.

Poly or Wood

Most of clients go for wood shutters because of their advantages over the artificial material known as poly.

As far as strength goes, wood is stronger and lighter. So, wooden shutters can be up to 37 inches in width. So, you won’t need more than a few panels for the window openings. Aside from this, wood gives you a lot of other benefits as well.

Louver Size

The size of most of shutters is 3.5 louvers. But there is a rise in demand for louvers that measure 4.5 louvers due to sliding glass doors and bigger windows. Actually, people want modern interior design as well as openness.

Midrail

If you don’t know, midrail is a horizontal plank. Over the midrail, the louvers open and close without relying on the louvers that are under the midrail. Many buyers like midrails since they leave the upper section open to let more light in and leave the lower section shut for privacy reasons. Moreover, a midrail is an ideal choice should you have metal casings.

Vertical Tilt Bar

You will find shutters that feature “hidden tilt”. In this type of shutters, the frontal wooden tilt bar is missing. In its place, you can see a metal tilt bar, which is almost invisible. So, you can have more visibility and open space.

Trees for Indoors

Trees for Indoors

If you are a fan of the Victorian Era you may have seen pictures or seen movies of the time with parlour palms sprucing up the, well, parlour. The adapt well to low light and humidity and they are on the list of NASA’s 50 Plants That Clean the Air. And face it, they’re breezy and fancy and who wouldn’t want one in their living room in a large ceramic pot?

If you want a touch of Christmas in your home year round, what about a Norfolk Pine? They are essentially baby Christmas trees that love bright light and moist soil. At Christmas time you can decorate them with little bows or fairy lights, but they make a great addition to any room year round.

If you like big bold statements you’ll want a Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree in your living room. These trees have large sculptured leaves that give the air of the tropics without being weepy or wispy. These trees love light but don’t like drafts so keep them away from windows and doors and you’re good to go.

The Ficus is perhaps the most popular indoor tree there is, heck, they even make a fake version that you just dust once in a while and forget about. The real version is actually a weeping fig tree if you want to get technical, and they come in different textures and heights so they’re perfect for any room, any where.

Love the tropics but live where there seems to be perpetual winter? Then what about adding a Majesty Palm to your home? They are fan shaped and have that tropical feel to them and best of all they are slow growing if they aren’t getting strong sunlight. Throw on the heat, watch the palm tree and pretend you’re on the beach, even if it is January and there is a blizzard waging outside.

If you like more of a desert type tree then the Yucca is for you. They have thick woody stems and pointy leaves that come in a variety of blue to blue green colours and have yellow, cream or white tones to them too.

Planning Your New Staircase

Planning Your New Staircase

Measure the height

Before ordering your stairs, you need to determine how much space is available. Start by finding out the floor-to-floor height. This involves measuring from the top of the finished lower floor to the top of the finished upper floor. The term ‘finished floor’, by the way, refers to the surface you walk on and includes any floor covering such as carpet or laminate. Once the staircase manufacturer has this information, they can work out how many steps are needed to create well-proportioned stairs that comply with UK building regulations.

Measure the width

Having established the height, you now have to find out the width. This comprises the total measurement across the strings and steps combined. (Strings, also called stringers, are structural supporting boards running along each side of the staircase.) Unless you’re designing a house from scratch, the width of the stairs will be determined by the current space available.

If you have any choice, go for the widest steps that will fit. A broad staircase is safer, easier to use and more practical, particularly in large family homes. While there is no legal minimum width in the UK, the standard figure is 860mm, so try not to make your stairs narrower than that.

Straight or winding?

As for the layout of the staircase, a single straight flight of stairs is the easiest and most economical option, as long as you have enough floor space. L-shaped and U-shaped stairs that twist back on themselves are widely considered to look more attractive. However, they tend to be more complicated, and therefore more costly.

To create a turn in the staircase so it can change direction, you will need winder treads or a landing – or a combination of both. A winder is a kite-shaped or triangular tread which is used to create a turn in an otherwise straight staircase.

A landing is an intermediate platform set between floor levels to join flights of stairs together. It might consist of a quarter landing (the width of a single flight of stairs) which makes a 90 degree turn in the staircase, or a half landing (the width of two flights of stairs) which creates a turn of 180 degrees, giving a U shape.