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Tips To Prepare For Septic Pumping

Posted by on Feb 15, 2017 in Uncategorized |

All septic systems need periodic pumping and annual inspections. How frequently your system is pumped depends on its size and how heavily its used, but most systems are pumped every few years to ensure they are running well. The following tips can help you prepare for your septic tank pumping. Tip #1: Mark the tank location An overgrown or hidden tank access isn’t just annoying, it can also cost you money. This is because septic services may charge a finder fee if it takes a lot of time or effort to find or uncover the tank. If this is the first time you are having the tank pumped, you may be able to find the access by walking your property or by checking with the property drawings and details on file with the city or county office. If you must pay the finder fee, make sure to make note of the location and keep it clear and accessible for future pumping and maintenance. Tip #2: Clear access The septic company will need to bring there truck onto your property and then run hoses out to the tank. You will want to make sure that their vehicles have access and parking spots near the drain field (but not on it), and that they can easily move their equipment from this area to the tank. If the truck must drive onto or park on a lawn area, refrain from watering the area for 24 hours so that the trucks won’t leave ruts in the area. Move lawn furniture, your vehicles, and outdoor toys and rec items so that nothing is in their way as they work. Tip #3: Plan your water usage You should not put any water into the septic system during the pumping process. Suction is created in the tank during pumping, and trying to put more water into the tank can lead to problems with the process. Don’t schedule laundry or a houseful of guests on pumping day. It’s best to stop all use of the drains in your home a couple of hours before the crew arrives so all waste water has time to drain into the septic tank. If you must use a sink or toilet during the pumping process, plug the drain or refrain from flushing until the process is complete. For more help with your septic system or to schedule a pumping and inspection, contact a septic maintenance contractor in your...

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How To Safely Demolish An Interior Wall

Posted by on Feb 13, 2017 in Uncategorized |

If you’ve seen any of the popular home improvement shows on television, you’ve likely seen homeowners or even contractors demolishing walls with a sledgehammer. This makes for dramatic TV, but it isn’t the most efficient—or safest—way to demolish an interior wall. To get through an interior wall demolition without making a giant mess or getting hurt, follow these simple steps. 1. Determine if the wall can be safely demolished. You can’t just go through your house randomly demolishing walls without risking structural damage. Certain interior walls may be load bearing, in which case they can’t be removed. Before you demolish a wall, consult with a structural engineer to find out whether or not it’s load bearing. If it is, the wall will have to stay. 2. Gather your tools. For an interior wall demolition, you’ll need: Safety goggles (put these on first, before commencing project) Work gloves (put these on second) Carpet knife/X-ACTO knife Plastic tarp (lay this on the floor in front of the wall) Heavy-duty garbage bags Reciprocating saw fitted with a demolition blade (you can rent one from a tool rental supplier) 3. Turn off the power. Your goal will be to avoid cutting through any electrical wires, but to be on the safe side, turn off the power to the room. You can plug in your saw with an extension cord leading to another room. If you do inadvertently hit a wire, it will be a problem but not a disaster. 4. Locate the studs. Use a pencil to mark where the wall studs are behind the wallboard. This will allow you to avoid cutting into them, as well as make a neat straight line when you saw. 5. Score down the stud line. Go over your pencil marks with a carpet knife or other blade. This will allow your saw to quickly and easily get purchase on the wallboard when you start sawing. 6. Begin sawing. Follow manufacturer’s instructions and use the saw to cut down along the side of the wall stud. The stud will provide a straight line to gently push the blade along the edge, so you’ll end up with a nice neat cut. 7. Score along the floor line. Repeat step five, only this time use the floor as your guide to score a straight line across. 8. Repeat step six, but this time, you’ll be moving along the floor line. 9. Repeat steps five and six for the left side of the wall you’re removing. 10. Repeat steps five and six along the top of the wall section, along the ceiling line. 11. Gently pull the wallboard out. Allow the wall to fall down onto the plastic tarp. Use your carpet knife to cut into smaller pieces and dispose of inside plastic trash bags. This method of demolishing an interior wall isn’t exciting like you’ve probably seen on TV, but it is safe and...

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How To Save Money When You Install Radiant Heating

Posted by on Feb 6, 2017 in Uncategorized |

If you’re fed up with high power bills in the winter and your house feels too chilly, then you may want to install radiant floor heat. It warms the entire floor so heat wafts up towards the ceiling and warms the whole room uniformly. Plus, you’ll never have to put up with walking barefoot on cold floors again. Radiant floor heat is energy efficient too, so you’ll stay warmer and pay less on your power bill. Here are a few ways to further reduce the expense of radiant floor heat. Install The System Under Your Existing Floor If you have a basement or crawl space, you can save a lot of money by installing the heating system on the underside of your current floor. This is an extremely easy process. The contractor simply staples the mesh holding the wires or tubes to the underside of your floor and then adds a layer of insulation to cover it so the heat flows up through the floor rather than down into the basement. If your home is built on a slab, you won’t have this option. If you have a slab or if you don’t want to put the heating system under your current floor, you’ll have to install a floating floor or rip up your old floor and install flooring with radiant heating built in. Installing a new floor adds to the cost, so if you want to save money, consider having the system installed under your existing floor. Go With Hydronic Heat When you install radiant floor heat, you first have to choose between electric and hot water heat. If you go with electric, the system you have installed contains cables that heat the floor. This uses a lot of electricity, which means your power bills are higher when compared to a radiant heating system that uses hot water to heat the floor. A hydronic heating system uses tubing that carries hot water along the floor to warm it. The water can be heated by a boiler, hot water heater, or tankless water heater. If your water heater is powered by gas, you will further save money since gas is usually a cheaper energy source than electricity. Choose The Right Floor Covering To get the most heat transfer from the radiant heating system, you should consider the type of flooring you install. Stone floors are ideal for soaking up heat and releasing it into the room. Carpet, on the other hand, acts as insulation and can reduce the amount of heat you get from your system. If you currently have carpeting, you may want to pull it up and replace it with laminate, vinyl, or tile so you get the most benefit from floor heating. Another thing you can do to save money on installing a new radiant floor heating system is to confine it to a specific area of your home. You may want to heat the family room or your child’s bedroom only. You can keep one or two rooms in your home nice and cozy with radiant heat and let the HVAC you have now control the climate in the other rooms. You may be able to reduce the temperature in the other rooms and use them less often when it gets very cold, and that...

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Tips For Maintaining Your Well

Posted by on Feb 4, 2017 in Uncategorized |

If you are a homeowner or some other property owner that has a well on your property, you are likely going to want to make sure that the well continues to provide clean water to the people and services that are on your property. You also want to make sure that the well does not become a safety hazard. Here are some tips for maintaining your well so that you don’t have to spend time worrying about its ability to produce or its potential threat to safety. 1. Maintain Physical Distance Between Your Well and Your Sewer System Your first step is to maintain physical distance between your well and your sewer system. The reason for this is that accidents can happen. Wastewater from your sewer system can find its way into your well, contaminating your water supply. It is going to be much easier to prevent this problem from occurring than it will be to decontaminate your well water. In order to decrease the chances that this unfortunate event could occur as much as possible, you will need to make sure that there are several feet between your well and your sewer system. If you look into your local guidelines, you will be able to see the exact amount of distance that you should have between your sewer system and your well. Keep this in mind when installing new drain ditches or pipelines. If your sewer system and well are already close to each other, consider speaking to someone who specializes in plumbing to help install safeguards to keep your sewer system from accidentally corrupting the water in your well. 2. Check Your Well Cover Every so often, such as once a month, be sure to put physical weight on your well cover to make sure that it is able to withstand the weight of a normal adult without cracking. The reason for this is that you don’t want anyone, especially children, playing nearby and accidentally venturing on top of the well and falling through. Doing this regularly will give you a lot of peace of mind. 3. Don’t Put the Hose Into the Pesticides or Toxins Directly When mixing pesticides and other chemicals, be sure that you don’t put the hose that is connected to your water supply into the solutions directly. This could result in back siphonage which would corrupt your water supply. Instead, hold it at least half a foot above it. For more information, talk to a company that specializes in well pumps, such as T. W. Stanley & Son Well Pump & Plumbing...

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Two Reasons Why Now Is The Time To Replace Your Windows

Posted by on Dec 12, 2016 in Uncategorized |

If you think that your current windows are sufficient and don’t need to be replaced, you may want to think again.  This is especially true if you live in an older home, since, although your windows may be intact, they could be badly outdated and no longer serving their purpose.  New windows can be highly beneficial and the investment could pay off in more ways than one.  Use this information to learn more about why now is the perfect time to get new windows. Replacing Your Windows Could Lower Your Energy Bill One of the main reasons why you should get new windows is because it could be the key to big savings on your energy bill.  You may not realize just how much money you’re losing due to your old windows. The state of your windows can affect your energy costs in a number of ways.  Firstly, if your windows have begun to warp because of their age, they may no longer completely fill in the hole where they are hung.  This leaves small cracks and spaces around the actual glass that let your indoor air seep outside.  Because there is an air leak, your cooling and heating unit has to utilize more power to maintain the indoor air temperature.  Your energy bill reflects this extra power consumption. There are now quite a few different energy efficient window models on the market.  You can choose double and even triple pane glass windows that provide a potent barrier against seepage.  Your energy costs could go down drastically once your new windows are in place. Installing New Windows Is A Great Way To Increase The Value Of Your Home Getting new windows can not only pay off now, but they can also add tremendous value for the future.  When you install replacement windows, you’ll be able to command more money for your house when you’re ready to sell. It’s always important to think about how home renovations will affect property values.  You want to make changes that will be attractive to potential home-buyers when you place it on the market.  Listing that the home has new windows in the house description could help to bring in more offers so you recoup your investment Installing new windows may prove to be a very wise decision.  Don’t wait; contact a local window contractor, such as Port Orchard Glass, so you can learn more about your options for getting new windows as soon as...

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What To Consider When Renting A Crane For Your Job

Posted by on Nov 22, 2016 in Uncategorized |

There are some jobs that are nearly impossible without bringing in special equipment. Lifting heavy objects like air conditioning units or roof trusses is near the top of the list. When you have a job of this nature to do, a crane is the best solution, but what kind of crane do you need and how do you get one on your job site? Selecting the right crane for the job To begin with, most crane rentals are not going to be like renting a truck. You can not simply rent the equipment and go perform the lift on your own. Crane operators are skilled at what they do and most have many years of experience to hone those skills. Talk to a crane rental company about the job and they will help you decide how large of a machine is required. Know the Safety Requirements When you bring a crane onto your work site, there are going to be requirements for the equipment; clearance is one of those requirements. The crane will need a specific amount of clearance between it and the buildings, trees, wires, and other objects around it. Anything too close to the machine can pose a safety concern and the operator may not be able to complete the lift. Likewise, soft or unstable ground can cause a problem when setting the machine up so be sure to discuss anything that you think might be of concern with the operator. They will know what they can work with or around. Access to the Site When you rent a crane, be sure to understand the space requirements for moving and positioning the crane. If you can’t get the equipment onto the site, there will be a lot of time and money wasted. If you are renting a very large crane, you may need to move objects, raise low-hanging wires, or even cut trees along the route. If this is going to be the case, plan ahead so you can get required permits or permission from landowners or the municipality you are working in. Reducing the Cost It is likely going to be expensive to rent a crane for your job. While it may save you a lot of effort and man hours, you are still going to want to get the crane in and out with the shortest amount of time possible. Crane rentals are typically billed by the hour, so if there are delays on site, the cost out of pocket for you is going to increase quickly. The best thing to do is simply be ready when the crane gets there so you can get the job done.  For more information, visit websites...

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Insulation Indecision — Spray Foam Or Fiberglass?

Posted by on Oct 11, 2016 in Uncategorized |

The type of insulation to use in a home is a major decision. The right installation, when installed correctly, helps to maintain cooler temperatures in the home in summer and warmer temperatures in winter, all while minimizing energy bills. This is a big deal, as 44 percent of energy costs in the typical home go to keeping the home at a comfortable temperature. No one insulation is right for every home, though, so understanding the pros and cons of different options, such as spray foam insulation or fiberglass insulation, can be helpful in making the decision.  Insulating Ability Spray foam insulation is much more energy efficient than fiberglass insulation. This is often measured with what is called an R-value. Fiberglass has an R-value of just 2.2 per inch and tends to lose R-value as it ages. Spray foam, on the other hand, doesn’t get less energy-efficient over time and has an R-value of 3.5 per inch for open cell and 6 to 7 per inch for closed cell. Durability Spray foam doesn’t settle over time, isn’t typically damaged by water or pests, and is usually fire resistant, so it often lasts longer than fiberglass insulation. With fiberglass insulation, the blown in insulation tends to last a shorter time than the insulation that is in rolls or batts. Any of these types of insulation can last the lifetime of the house, however, when they’re properly installed and kept away from water and UV rays. Cost Insulation will vary in cost based on the amount used and the type. In general, insulating a home with spray foam tends to cost between 20 and 30 percent more than using fiberglass. This is partly due to the need for special equipment during installation, including a respirator to protect the installer from potentially dangerous fumes. These fumes are only present during installation, however, before the foam sets. Potential Pitfalls Each type of insulation comes with potential pitfalls. In the case of spray foam insulation, if it isn’t applied in a thick enough layer, it won’t provide the proper insulation. If any leakage sites are missed, it could cause air to be allowed in, which makes it less effective and could allow air to condense and cause water to drip. Although rare, spray foam could pull away from the walls a bit, which could cause air leakage. With fiberglass, pests can destroy the insulation, the fiberglass may release formaldehyde fumes, there can be more air leakage than with spray foam, and allergens may enter into the air through the...

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Kitchen Cabinet Colors

Posted by on Oct 11, 2016 in Uncategorized |

When remodeling a kitchen, choosing colors for kitchen cabinets can be overwhelming. There are so many color options and design styles that settling on one can seem an impossible task. The easiest way to choose is to settle on a style and then choose an appropriate color within that style. Classic Kitchens Classic kitchens are a popular style because they won’t look dated as kitchen trends change. Classic kitchens look nice with stained cabinets or cabinets painted in light colors like white or cream. In a classic kitchen with light-colored walls and floors, black or dark grey cabinets add a nice contrast without making the kitchen seem dark or closed in. To create a harmonious look in a classic kitchen, paint the walls and cabinets all one color. White, cream, or even light yellow walls and cabinets in exactly the same color will make the kitchen appear large and bright. The nice thing about using light, neutral colors in a kitchen remodel is that the kitchen can be refreshed easily. By switching up colors by adding drapes, dish towels, and a few brightly colored tabletop appliances, the kitchen can look new again without having to rip out floor or tiling.    Retro Kitchens Retro kitchens look dated, and that’s the whole point! Luckily, they also stand the test of time because they’ll remain firmly in the era they’re designed to mimic as time marches on. In retro kitchens, bright-colored cabinets are perfect choices. Red is a nice choice, as is turquoise. For homeowners who want to make a particularly bold statement, fluorescent cabinets bring in the retro vibe in a major way. Modern Kitchens Modern kitchens are all about contrast. White cabinets against a bold, red wall look beautiful. Wood cabinets with a dark stain against an earth blue wall can be lightened up with a contrasting white countertop. Cream-colored walls recede to make cabinets in an earthy green pop. Modern kitchens can even use multiple paint colors on cabinets. Maybe the cabinets under the counter are painted black or dark grey while the wall cabinets are painted white or cream. The same technique can be used with two shades of one color. Consider painting the lower cabinets a blue that is a shade or two darker than the blue used on the higher cabinets. Homeowners could also paint the cabinets on one wall one color while all the other cabinets in the kitchen are painted another. The two colors can be pulled together with a mosaic backsplash or countertop that includes both colors.    For more information, talk to a professional like Sierra Remodeling & Home Builders...

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Which Roofing Material Should You Choose?

Posted by on Aug 30, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Choosing the right roof installation material can be a big task, especially when there are so many new materials on the market to consider. Here are some roofing material suggestions, based on the best qualities they present.  Asphalt Shingles for Cost Asphalt shingles are one of the more affordable roofing materials on the market. Although they may not last as long as some of the more high-tech roofing materials on the market today, you may still get several decades of use out of your asphalt shingles as long as you maintain them properly. And they can give your home or business a traditional look.  Adhered Roofing Systems for Longevity One of the strongest roofing systems available today is the adhered roofing system. These systems combine several synthetic materials in layers to give your roof a weather-proof and durable surface. They can be adhered in several ways; the roof installation contractor may use an adhesive to seal the roofing system onto a concrete base, or they may apply metal fasteners to provide additional bracing for the roof. These systems come with a high upfront installation cost, followed by years of lower maintenance demands and increased longevity. They are also a great choice for buildings in wind-prone areas, where shingles and other weaker roofing materials may blow off the roof and create big repair bills.  Green Roofs for Style Green roofs are becoming a stylistic choice for many businesses and homeowners. The green roof consists of plants installed over the roof cover to deflect heat. They are a great way to protect the home from solar heating, while also making an outward statement to those who pass by.  Solar Roofing for Energy Savings Finally, you might consider not only deflecting solar heat, but harnessing it instead. Some roofing contractors are able to install solar panel systems on the roof to collect the sunlight and use it to power electricity or heating devices. While these systems are still in their infancy, they are still a great option to consider for energy conservation.  Of course, there are several other roofing options to choose from and many factors that can go into your decision. Once you’ve got a material in mind, you can approach a roofing contractor from a company like CJ Scotti Services for advice on your choice. Your contractor can help you factor in many variables to make sure that you get the best roofing material for your home or...

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How To Reseal Grout Lines

Posted by on Aug 30, 2016 in Uncategorized |

There are few flooring options that are as elegant and stylish as tile. It is understandable why tile such a popular product in kitchens and bathrooms. Not only is it stylish, it is also very durable. The weakest part of any tile floor is the grout. It is a vulnerable to water damage and cracking if it is not properly sealed. This article explains how you can clean and reseal your grout lines to increase the strength and water resistance of your tile floor. Cleaning the Floor You definitely want to invest in an all-in-one tile and grout sealer. It comes in large jugs that you can basically pour directly onto your floor. That being said, it is quite expensive. You might want to be sparing with it, so you can reuse it down the road. In addition to the sealant, you will also want some scrub brushes and a bunch of lint-free rags. The sealant will also work as a sort of cleaner because it should brighten the grout and restore it to its original color. But you still need to clean any soap scum or mold buildup in your grout lines before you use it. Once you have thoroughly scrubbed off any mold, dirt or soap scum, you want to quickly vacuum and mop your entire floor. Sealing the Floor You should be wearing clothes that you don’t my mind damaging and throwing away afterward because you have to be on your hands and knees. They will surely get soaked in the grout sealant. Have the rags ready so you can immediately spread the sealant around as soon as you pour it onto the ground. It’s important that you spread the sealant all over the grout and tile. Depending on what products you choose, you will need to let it soak into your floor for a few minutes before wiping it away. Then, you will need to repeat the process to her three times. The more coat you apply, the more protection you give your floor. After the final coat, you should stay off your floor for about 24 hours. Then, you will notice a light film that has dried on your floor. Just use a slightly damp sponge to wipe away this film. This is all you really need to do to effectively reseal and clean your grout lines. If you want your floor to look clean and fresh over the years, it is important to repeat this process. For more information, contact Costen Floors Inc or a similar...

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3 Mistakes to Avoid When Installing Drywall

Posted by on Aug 10, 2016 in Uncategorized |

In an effort to save on remodeling expenses, some homeowners are taking on the task of installing their own drywall. Unfortunately, putting up drywall is more complex than it looks. If the drywall is not hung correctly, problems can occur. To help you stay on the right track with the installation, here are some of the most commonly made mistakes you need to avoid.   Underestimating Drywall Needed While people are installing drywall, it is not uncommon for them to make mistakes. Mistakes can eat at your supply of drywall and leave you without the necessary supplies to finish your project. Other problems, such as weather damage, can also impact your ability to finish your drywalling project as scheduled.   To avoid delays, it is important that you buy more drywall than you estimate you need. If something does transpire, you will still have the materials needed to finish without having to make multiple trips to a home-improvement store. The leftover drywall can be used for other projects or donated to charities.   Using Long Screws The screws that are used to secure the drywall are important. Some homeowners believe that using longer screws helps to ensure the drywall is properly secured. In actuality, longer screws could cause more damage.   Longer screws can potentially damage plumbing lines and wiring within your walls. To avoid damage, look for an 1 1/4-inch screws if you are using 1/2-inch drywall panels. Use 1 3/8-inch screws for 5/8-inch panels.  Failing to Leave a Gap One of the common misconceptions about drywall is that all of the pieces need to fit tightly together. The thought is that this provides a smoother look. Unfortunately, installing the pieces together tightly can cause damage. When the pieces are crammed in tightly together, the edges can start to crumble. If you have to remove a piece later to make a repair, removing the drywall can be more difficult without the gap in place.   You can avoid all of these issues by leaving a small gap between the drywall pieces. Remember, tape and joint compound can be used to fill in those spaces. You can still get a smooth look without worrying about damaging the drywall.  There are other mistakes that can be made when installing drywall. Mistakes can prove costly and result in a need for a professional to repair them. To avoid additional costs, you could also try working with a professional residential drywall installer from the...

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