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Upgrading Your Master Bath: Creating A Spa-Like Atmosphere

Posted by on Sep 20, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Upgrading Your Master Bath: Creating A Spa-Like Atmosphere

Your master bathroom is your space to relax and get away from the stress of everyday life. If you are considering a bathroom remodel, here are a few things you can do to transform your master bathroom into your own personal spa retreat. With the help of your contractor, you can create a luxurious space you’ll want to spend time in every day. Separate Shower Enclosure Instead of using a shower/tub combination, add a separate shower enclosure to your master bath. You can add one to a corner of the room if you have a smaller bathroom, or you can create a large enclosure for a more luxurious feel in a large space. Consider a few fancy upgrades, such as LED lighting or a waterfall shower head to make the shower even more enjoyable, and have your contractor add a bath seat for a bit of added comfort. Finish off this look with frameless glass doors for an upscale look. Upgrade Your Lighting Switch out your plain ceiling light for a variety of new lighting fixtures. A chandelier over the tub creates a rich look while adding soft lighting to the room, and sconces on either side of the vanity give the room an instant upgrade. You can also add recessed lighting to the shower enclosure to illuminate this area separately from the rest of the room. Add Wall Shelving To create a truly spa-like feel, you need to have plenty of fluffy towels, soaps and candles available. Adding shelving to your bathroom gives you a great way to display these items and keep them close at hand when you need them. You can add corner shelves to save space, or add a long line of shelving on the wall above the bathtub. Adding small shelves throughout the room for holding decorative accent pieces is another excellent option. Add A Towel Warmer No spa is complete without a towel warmer. Your contractor can install a towel warmer to replace a traditional towel rack, or you can purchase a free-standing floor unit you can move out of the way as needed. Be sure to place the towel warmer near your shelf of bath towels so you can quickly warm your towels ad washcloths before your bath or shower. Use these ideas to create a luxurious spa escape for your home. Partner with your contractor (like South Jersey Glass & Door) for additional ideas you can use during your bath remodel to build the master bathroom of your...

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Bamboo Building Materials: Benefits And Issues

Posted by on Aug 8, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Bamboo Building Materials: Benefits And Issues

Bamboo is popular for many types of residential and commercial building materials: flooring, walls and trusses can all be constructed from this strong and lightweight material. But how do you know if bamboo is the right building material for your project? Benefits of Bamboo Bamboo has been used in building materials in the U.S. for more than a decade. It’s mostly popular for flooring, although there are many potential uses for bamboo instead of hardwoods, including support columns and interior walls. Environmental impact. Bamboo regrows quickly. In fact, bamboo can be harvested without killing the plant; most wood products are derived from trees that are completely felled. Newly planted replacement trees can take anywhere from 20 to 50 years to grow enough for harvest, while bamboo plants can be harvested every 4 to 6 years. Strength. Bamboo has a tensile strength, or ability to withstand being pulled apart, that is higher than steel. It also compresses less than concrete. Attractive look. Bamboo has a more uniform appearance than hardwoods because it doesn’t have knots and irregularities. It can be used with a natural look or stained as desired. Issues with Using Bamboo There are some downsides to using bamboo as well.  Environmental issues While there are many environmental positives to using bamboo for building, there are some negatives, too. Bamboo plantations tend to be located in China and other Asian countries, where production is more important than the environment. As a result, more bamboo is being planted, leading to a lack of biodiversity, and bamboo is being overharvested.  Vulnerability One problem that bamboo has is that, while it may be strong, it is susceptible to damage from insects, fungi and rot if it is not treated with protective sealants. Bamboo typically does not last more than 5 years when exposed to the elements without chemical treatment. There are natural ways to treat bamboo against rot and insects, but these techniques typically are not used when mass producing bamboo products for the US market. Import costs Bamboo can technically be grown in most climates, but it thrives in tropical climates. This means that it must be imported to the U.S., with the additional cost and use of fossil fuels for transportation that this entails. However, most building materials are going to have some costs associated with transportation. Many builders feel that the positives of bamboo outweigh the negatives. If you have specific concerns about the way bamboo is harvested or treated, talk to a company like Hanover Concrete Company to locate bamboo building materials that meet your...

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Two Reasons To Rely On A Professional Sump Pump Installation

Posted by on Aug 8, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Two Reasons To Rely On A Professional Sump Pump Installation

This is known as the DIY era. There are tutorials and other information available on the Internet that can help you perform a wealth of projects, including sump pump installation. Make sure you understand that just because you can do something on your own doesn’t mean you should. It’s fairly easy to make a number of mistakes that can be costly. Here are just a few of the reasons you want to rely on a professional for sump pump installation.   Incorrect Check Valve Direction All sump pumps have a check valve installed within them. The goal of this component is to ensure that water doesn’t flow back into the pump, where it can cause permanent damage to the unit. How effective the valve is at accomplishing this goal depends on whether or not it is installed in the correct direction. If the valve is not placed in the proper position, it will actually cause the pump to intake water instead of directing it away from the pump. In some cases, the check valve will have an arrow on it to denote which direction it should face; however, this is not always the case. The only foolproof way to avoid this mistake is to have proper knowledge of how the valve actually works. Only with this knowledge will an individual understand what direction it needs to be installed in.   Poor Float Switch Placement Sump pumps are not designed to operate when the water level is too low. If the pump operates with a low water level, the motor may overheat and sustain significant damage. The float switch works to avoid this type of scenario by monitoring the water level. If the water level reaches too low of a point, it forces the motor to automatically shut down. Similar to the check valve, proper installation of the float switch is required to accomplish this goal. The float switch must not be installed in an area where there aren’t any obstructions as installing the float switch too close to a structure doesn’t allow the arm to properly float. When the float switch isn’t able to float freely, it also won’t be able to accurately measure the water level, which only increases your risk for costly motor damage and incorrect function of the sump pump.   When you rely on a professional for installation, you avoid these and other mistakes. Make sure you are contacting a professional for this...

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Why Wooden Window Frames Are Still the Way to Go

Posted by on Jul 8, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Why Wooden Window Frames Are Still the Way to Go

If you are in the market for new windows in your home, you might be overwhelmed by all the new, modern materials. However, this is not to say that you could not still consider the classic frame materials, like wood. In fact, wooden window frames are still among the most practical and stylish options on the market. While they might be more expensive than synthetic materials like fiberglass or vinyl, real wooden window frames are more stylish, unique, and natural looking. This article explains a few of the major perks of choosing wooden window frames over synthetic materials. Wood Is Stylish Most people are attracted to wood because they simply love the style of it. It is popular largely because so many other design elements on the inside and outside of a home are built out of wood. By having wooden windows, you can coordinate your home and make your overall style more cohesive. Also, the look of natural wood, with exposed grains, is very popular and adds class to any surface. In fact, some synthetic materials, like vinyl, are actually made with fake wood prints. If you want the look of wooden frames, why not just buy actual wood, instead of choosing a product that won’t look as authentic in the end? Wood Is Changeable It is also very significant that the style of wood can be altered. You can always remove your existing wood finish by sanding it off and then applying a new stain. This is a great way to redefine the look of your window and keep it up to date with other changing design elements on the interior and exterior of your property. Wood Is Still a Practical Option Finally, it is important to remember that wood is still a very practical and durable product. As long as you keep your windows sealed and waterproofed by reapplying the stain every few years, you can ensure that they will last a long time. The integrity and style of your wooden frames will largely depend on how well you keep up with the basic maintenance requirements. Also, wood has great solar, thermal, and sound insulation. As long as you give your wood a little TLC, the structural integrity and energy efficiency will remain intact over the years. Wood is an all-around reliable product that simply looks more stylish and unique than the other options on the market. It is easy to see why many homeowners still choose to invest in wooden frames for their property. To read more about various types of window frames, check out the sites of various window-installation companies....

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4 Ways To Make Your Rental Property More Attractive To Potential Tenants

Posted by on Jul 7, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Ways To Make Your Rental Property More Attractive To Potential Tenants

A renter could view several apartments and homes in his or her quest to find the perfect place to live. As an owner of a rental property, you will have to compete with other rentals in the area. It is important that you take time to make your property more attractive to potential renters. Here are some ideas you can use to boost your property’s attractiveness level.  Convert Extra Space to a Bedroom If your rental property has any extra space, such as a study, converting it into a bedroom can attract more people. In addition to this, you can even ask for more monthly rent. The addition of another bedroom could make the difference between limiting your options to singles and couples to families who are probably looking for long-term occupancy.  Paint Your Rental Property A fresh coat of paint can make even the dullest and oldest looking property appear to be more appealing. When painting, do not forget to include the exterior of the home or building. Avoid picking colors that are too trendy. You want to appeal to a wide range of potential tenants. If you stick with neutral colors, tenants are better able to visual themselves living there.  Increase the Lighting One of the most inexpensive ways you can draw in potential tenants is to add more lighting to your property. Exterior lighting helps it to standout to people passing by at night. More interior lighting helps to make the space feel larger and gives it a more upbeat appearance. Adding light can be as simple as leaving the curtains open during the day and using lamps strategically.  Spend Time on the Lawn Even if your property is in a good neighborhood and has great rates, a badly kept lawn can be a turnoff. Your lawn is the first chance you have to make a good impression on potential tenants. Weekly maintenance of the lawn can improve the curb appeal. Other small steps, such as painting the mailbox and planting new flowers, can also help. Even adding a doormat to the front step can make your rental property seem more welcoming.  Work with a rental property management service to find other ways to increase the appeal of your property. Not only can the service provide you with ideas to improve your property, it can also help with finding the contractors needed to perform the work needed. To learn more, contact a rental property management company like Advanced Property...

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Considering A Master Bath Remodel? What You Should Know About Steam Showers

Posted by on Jun 22, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Considering A Master Bath Remodel? What You Should Know About Steam Showers

If you’re looking for a unique shower enclosure for your home’s master bathroom, you might want to consider installing a steam shower. Steam showers are usually slightly oversized in comparison to standard showers and they feature a watertight seal around the door to keep the steam inside. Here’s a look at the basics of steam shower installation to help you decide. Waterproofing Options The steam shower enclosure has to be waterproof to hold the steam and water spray inside, but there are many different ways to do that. For example, you may decide that you want to cover the studs and ceiling with a layer of thick plastic sheeting. Then, you can cover the sheeting with concrete board that’s been treated with a waterproof sealant. Once the concrete board is secured, you can cover it with tile or whatever type of material you prefer. You may instead opt for sheet metal for finishing. If you use sheet metal, you won’t need the extra plastic. Instead, the metal panels will be welded together to seal them completely. Then, you can go around the edges with caulk to ensure that there are no open areas where moisture can seep. Electrical Needs Steam showers must have a dedicated circuit for power, including a separate circuit breaker. That’s important because, if the steam shower system malfunctions, you need to be able to shut down the power to it right away without affecting any other circuit in the house. When you install the enclosure, have an electrician add the circuit for the power supply. Steam Generation In order for a steam shower to be really effective, it requires a separate steam generator. This produces more steam than you could get from a hot shower alone. Most steam generators can be installed either alongside the outer edge of the enclosure or even underneath a cabinet or in a nearby linen closet. Just make sure you choose a place where the steam generator can connect directly to your main plumbing line that runs to your shower. In addition, you’ll need somewhere for the drain line to run. The drain line is where the condensation flows out away from the generator. Before you decide what kind of shower enclosure you’re going to add to your home’s master bathroom, talk with a kitchen and bath specialist about the benefits of steam showers and whether or not one would work for your home. Click here to get more...

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3 Essential Parts Of Window Air Conditioner Maintenance

Posted by on Jun 2, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Essential Parts Of Window Air Conditioner Maintenance

The comfort and sense of luxury provided by window air conditioners make them among the most beloved home appliances. Yet these positive qualities can quickly become undermined if you don’t take proper care of your AC. If you would like to learn more about how to keep your air conditioner running strong, read on. This article will introduce you to three essential areas of maintenance. Keep your air filter clean. One of the nice things about window ACs is that, unlike their central air conditioning kin, their air filters are generally reusable. However, this requires that you clean them on a fairly regular basis–ideally once a month or so during summer months or other periods of heavy use. Most air filters are accessed via the front of the AC. The filter should pull readily out of its slot. Let it soak for a little while in a sinkful of warm, soapy water. Then use your sink sprayer to rinse it clean. Stubborn areas of dirt may be loosened up with the use of a scrub brush. Once clean, allow the filter to dry thoroughly before reinstalling it in the machine. Straighten out the condenser fins. On the side of your AC that points out of the window is an array of thin metallic condenser fins. The purpose of these fins is to help displace the unwanted heat from inside of your house or apartment. Over time, these fins tend to take a beating, getting bumped, banged, and bent out of shape. Unfortunately, bent fins are much less efficient at transferring heat. The good news is that straightening your fins isn’t much more difficult than combing your hair, provided you have the right tool. Conveniently enough, the tool you will need is known as a fin comb. All you have to do is slot the teeth of the comb into place, and  draw this comb gently along the fins. Remove built-up dust from the fans. All window ACs come equipped with two fans. One of these is situated next to the evaporator, while the other is next to the condenser. They both serve to keep these important internal components from overheating and blowing out. As time goes on, they both also tend to accumulate gross buildups of dust and gunk. Oftentimes, the dust will escape past the air filter and end up being circulated with the cooled air. Ensure cleaner air by washing off your air conditioner’s fans from time to time. Because the delicate electrical components are sealed off, this task can easily be accomplished using a garden hose without causing any undue harm.  For air conditioning maintenance, contact a company such as Nathan’s Heating & Air Conditioning,...

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Embellish A Plain, Glass Railing’s Surface With An Etched Design

Posted by on May 13, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Embellish A Plain, Glass Railing’s Surface With An Etched Design

Add an etched design to a plain, glass railing inside of your home to add aesthetic value and appeal. Once you have finished the project, the railing will have a unique appearance that will stand out and add a considerable amount of beauty to the inside of your home Materials Needed glass cleaner soft cloth cerium oxide buffing cloth towel self-adhesive stencils etching cream plastic bowl mixing stick paintbrush wet rag bucket of water ​Clean And Buff The Glass Surface Remove dirt and fingerprints from the glass railing’s surface with glass cleaner and a soft cloth, and reduce the appearance of scratches in the glass surface by rubbing a buffing pad over them that has a few drops of cerium oxide added to it. Move the pad over the scratches in small circles while pressing down in a firm manner. Once the scratches have faded as much as you could get them to, rinse away any cerium oxide that remains with a damp cloth and dry the glass railing with a towel. Add A Design To The Railing Purchase self-adhesive stencils that depict a design that you prefer. A floral pattern or fancy swirls are a couple of ideas that may provide the railing with an attractive finish. Secure the patterns across various parts of the railing. Cover any imperfections that are still visible in the glass and use a ruler to assist with placing the stencils evenly across the railing. Pour some etching cream into a plastic bowl. Mix the cream for a couple minutes to eliminate any air bubbles. Apply the cream to openings in each stencil with a paintbrush. Wait a few minutes for the cream to change the way that the glass looks. The glass that was covered with cream will have a cloudy appearance once this occurs. Rinse The Cream From The Railing  Dip a rag into a bucket of water and wring it out. Use the damp rag to remove the cream from the railing. Rinse the rag out as you complete this step so that cream that was previously removed is not reapplied to the railing’s surface. Once the cream has been removed, wait for the etched sections to dry. Afterwards, remove the stencils. Dispose of any leftover cream.  The glass railing will have an eye-catching appearance that you can enjoy on a daily basis. Keep it maintained by removing dirty residue from its surface with a soft cleaning cloth and mild detergent. For more information, options, or assistance with your glass railing, contact railing installation companies, like California...

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Five Energy Efficient Tricks To Help You Save On AC Bills

Posted by on Apr 28, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Five Energy Efficient Tricks To Help You Save On AC Bills

While summer heat increases and monthly energy bills go up, you may find yourself wondering what options you have (short of moving to a cooler climate) to reduce the cost of your AC. It can be especially concerning if you’re an environmentally conscious homeowner and realize that higher energy usage can mean more emissions. Use these five tips to help you reduce energy usage to keep your bills lower and help save the environment. 1. Shade your walls and roof. Shading any areas of your house’s exterior can help prevent heat absorption, meaning your AC unit will have less work to do. The roof is especially important because it’s angled towards the sun and is most likely to catch direct sunlight head-on during the hotter parts of the day. You can plant shade trees for long-term solutions, shade parts of the roof with shade sails for a shorter-term solution, and use bushes and/or trellised vines to help shade walls. A “green roof,” meaning one that’s designed with plants growing on it, is also an option; the plants shade the roof from sunlight, instead capturing the light and using it in photosynthesis. This is a bigger project, though, since it involves replacing your roof. 2. Paint your roof. In addition to blocking some of the sunlight that normally hits your roof, you may also be able to paint it a lighter color to help it reflect the sunlight rather than absorbing it. Unfortunately, this solution isn’t recommended for asphalt shingle roofing, but it’s a quick and easy solution for metal roofing. And a “cool roof coating” can work wonders as well; it’s applied in a similar manner to paint but it’s even more effective because it helps your roof reflect not only light rays but also thermal rays. 3. Insulate your walls and roof. Like an insulated thermos for your iced coffee, a well-insulated house can help keep cool air cool so your AC won’t have to re-cool it as frequently. Insulation in the attic is especially important due to the large amount of heat that your roof is likely to absorb. Even an adequately insulated house can become more energy efficient when additional insulation is added. 4. Use attic fans. In the matter of keeping heat from coming into your house through the roof, a multi-pronged approach is best. In addition to beefing up insulation and lightening your roof’s color, you can also use fans in the attic or crawl space to help disperse any heat that builds up before it gets into your living space. Use fans positioned at attic vents to blow excess heat outside. 5. Turn the thermostat up. If you turn your ceiling fans on, you may find that you’ll still be comfortable with the thermostat turned a degree or two higher than usual. And you can save a substantial amount of energy by turning the thermostat up when you leave for work in the morning so that your AC won’t have to work as hard, then turn it down again to keep you comfortable in the evening. Using a programmable thermostat to automate this process can make it almost effortless. These five tips will help you reduce the amount of energy your AC will need to use by reducing its workload. Of course, you’ll...

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3 Causes Of A Stinky Basement Toilet

Posted by on Mar 23, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Causes Of A Stinky Basement Toilet

Having a bathroom in the basement can make your rec room more self-contained and spare guests the need to keep walking up and down the stairs. But having a toilet in the basement poses some potential plumbing issues due to the toilet’s proximity to the main sewer line. If your basement toilet suddenly becomes stinky even when clean, there could be a plumbing issue at play. Here are a few of the potential causes of a stinky basement toilet. Blocked Sewer Pipe Do you have a stinky smell in other areas of your home or do the sinks elsewhere back up when you run the dishwasher or flush a toilet? You might have a blocked sewer pipe. The smell will be worst in the basement toilet since there isn’t a house worth of piping standing between the backing up sewer gases and the basement toilet. Don’t try to unclog a sewer blockage on your own. Sewer gases are potentially dangerous and the blockage could be well under your yard. A professional sewer cleaning service can send a small camera down the line to find any blockages or obstructions that are causing the problem. If the problem is a simple blockage, the plumber will use an auger or snake to clear the line. Sometimes the problem can be due to tree roots pushing through the walls of the pipe and causing both a blockage and a hazardous sewer leak under your yard. The plumber will need to dig into the yard over the damage and replace the pipe with newer pipe. The short-term hassle will be worth not having sewage pouring into your yard and having a basement toilet that doesn’t smell bad constantly. Click here to read more about cleaning sewer and drain lines.  Blocked Vent A clogged sewer line causes gases to back up because your plumbing operates as a vacuum. A blockage at one end disrupts the vacuum and causes the gases and waste to move back in the direction of the open side of the vacuum. Vents, usually located on your roof, are on the opposite side of the vacuum from the sewer line. If your sewer line isn’t clogged, you should check your vents for blockages. Ask a plumber to come in and check the vents if you don’t have the safety equipment required for climbing onto your roof. If you do have the equipment, simply check the ends of the vents for any signs of blockages such as sticks or bird’s nests. During winter, make sure that snow or ice don’t form over the openings of the vents. Weak Wax Ring Are your sewer and vents both clear of blockages? The problem could be in the toilet itself. There’s a wax ring under the main body of the toilet that forms a water- and air-tight seal between the toilet and the sewer line. The wax ring is meant to keep sewer gases from leaking out around the toilet at the time of flushing. Wax rings are easy to replace if you have someone to help you move the toilet. Make sure you immediately block the sewer pipe with wadded up rags to block the gases from rising while you work. You can buy a new wax ring at any hardware store and the package instructions...

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