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3 Ways To Improve The Outside Of Your Home

Posted by on Sep 1, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Many homeowners start to get sick of their house after a few years of ownership. This may be because it’s not new and exciting anymore or that it doesn’t meet all of their needs. If you’re looking for ways to make improvements without having to move to another home, consider making changes to the outside of your home so that you can be happier. Take a look at the following information to better understand some of the ways you can improve the outside of your home. Consider Hiring a Landscaping Team If you struggle to keep up with your lawn’s needs, this may be another reason why you don’t love your current home. It can be a challenge to find enough time to handle landscaping needs without professional help. Working with a landscaping team can make it possible for you to liven up your front and back yard areas. You will be amazed just how different your home looks when it’s surrounded by colorful flowers and full bushes and trees. This can make your home more welcoming and can make you feel proud when you come home each day.  Invest in a Custom Pool  Have you always dreamed of having a great pool area to relax and keep cool during the hot summer months? Now the time to make this investment! You can work with a company to create a custom pool design that meets your needs. You can decide whether you want an in-ground or above ground pool, how deep you’d like the water to go, and whether you want a diving board or a slide. This can be a great way to create an outside space that you and your family will love.  Buy Nice Lawn Furniture If you have old lawn chairs and other furniture, it can make the outside of your home look and feel unattractive. It’s worthwhile to invest in quality lawn furniture. This can improve the overall look of your home and can also make your outside space more comfortable. Once you make this purchase, you may find that you’re more likely to want to have friends and family members over for social events.  There are ways to love your current home more! Take the time to consider improving the outside area of your home so that you can feel more satisfied with your home purchase. The above tips are just some ways you can make a big...

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3 Things You Need To Know About Your AC System And Your Utility Bill

Posted by on Aug 31, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Everyone would like to save money on their utility bill. If you are not careful, you can easily overspend on your energy bill each month. Luckily, there are some things that you can do to keep your bill low without causing everyone in the house to become overheated. Here are a couple tips. 1. Close The Vents and The Room Doors If you have rooms that are not being used in the house, you should make sure that those vents are closed. Part of the reason why it takes so much energy to cool down your house is because it has to cool the entire house. If there are parts of the house that aren’t used regularly, like a storage room or a guest room, you can save a good deal of money by simply closing off those rooms. It should be mentioned, that if you just close the vent, you will obstruct the air in that room, but the AC will still try to cool it because the door is open. This can actually cost you money. This is why you need to make sure that if the vent is closed, so is the door as well. 2. Move Your Air Conditioner’s Thermostat A thermostat will detect the heat in the house from its immediate location. This means if you have the thermostat by the stove, TV, or any other thing that gives off heat next to the thermostat, you are asking for problems. It will detect the house as being hotter than it really is and cause the AC to turn up more and more. This is why you should look at the furniture that you have put around the thermostat and determine if it could be affecting your AC. 3. Adjust Your Thermostat When You Are Not Home Some people have adopted the misunderstanding that it takes more energy to adjust the thermostat throughout the day. For example, they believed if they turn the AC to 80 degrees while they are gone, and then back down to 75 when they are home, it would take more money. This is simply not the case. It does not take more energy to try and cool it those extra 5 degrees when you get home. It will however save you money on your utility bill in the long run. These are just 3 things you need to know about saving money on your energy bill.  For professional air conditioning services, contact a company such as Advanced Heating &...

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Three Types Of Metal Roofing That Can Be Used To Replace Asphalt Shingles

Posted by on Aug 14, 2015 in Uncategorized |

If you have asphalt shingles, they will eventually need to be replaced after years of wear. The asphalt deteriorates and the shingles will begin to fall apart. An alternative to asphalt that you may want to consider is metal roofing. With metal roofing, there are choices of many different styles for different budgets. You can even have stamped metal shingles installed on your home. Here are the choices you have to replace your asphalt with metal roofing: 1. Stamped Metal Roofing For A Decorative Look Stamped metal roofing can give you a metal roofing choice that is similar to shingles. In fact, these roofing products are often shingle styles and installed in the same manner as asphalt materials. They can come in decorative roofing tiles, shakes and other styles to give you a choice of the look of the new metal roofing on your home. It will also be easy to repair any damage with this type of roofing by simply replacing damaged pieces, which is something that you will probably rarely, if ever, have to do. 2. Long Lasting And Durable Standing Seam Metal Roofing Standing seam metal roofing can give you one of the best roofing solutions. Seamless systems have seams that are above the roof, which are fastened together in a way that makes them less likely to leak. In addition to a standing seam, you can also have a rubber membrane installed beneath this material to give it extra protection.  This can be used to ensure that wood roof decking does not rot due to small leaks that may get beneath the roofing, or due to condensation that can form on or under metal when weather changes. 3. Affordable Roofing Solutions With Metal Roofing Panels There are also some affordable roofing solutions if you want to use metal roofing on your home. Metal roofing panels can also be used for your new roof, which can cost less than stamped or standing seam solutions. These are panels that overlap each other to provide a water-tight seal. They can also come in many different styles, which tin roofs are the most recognizable example of metal roofing. They can even easily be installed by any DIY enthusiast and are ideal for smaller homes. These are some of the choices that you may want to consider to replace your asphalt shingles with new metal roofing. If you are ready to have a new, long-lasting roof installed on your home, contact a roofing contractor and talk with them about the best options for your budget. For professional roofing services, contact a company such as Palmer...

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Easy Ways To Avoid Elevator Breakdowns

Posted by on Jul 27, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Elevator breakdowns are scary and can be dangerous. Have more than a couple such incidents and your tenants and/or customers will consider taking their business elsewhere. Even long wait times can discourage and annoy customers. Fortunately, there are several easy things you can do to help insure that your elevators are running safely and efficiently. Ways to avoid elevator problems 1. Take steps to thwart vandals. Vandalism isn’t just unsightly, but can cause your elevators to fail prematurely. Avoid such issues by installing vandal-proof interiors and control panels, so that would-be criminals can’t get their hands on the critical buttons. Keeping your elevators running smoothly can also help to prevent vandalism caused by frustrated riders. 2. Evaluate wait times and performance. Long wait times are frustrating to visitors and can be a sign of an issue with the elevator’s central control panel. A good way to gauge the unit performance is to record the times, both in peak and non-peak hours, and compare them to the manufacturers’ specifications. Noticing a consistent variance early can help you address the issue before it becomes an aggravation to your visitors. 3. Don’t ignore an aging elevator. Elevator technology is changing constantly. Therefore, most elevators will need to be replaced as the new models outpace the old. Signs that it’s time to order a new model include slow response times and higher than average energy bills. Just upgrading your control system to one that uses a micro-processor can reduce your riders’ wait times by up to 50 percent. 4. Maintaining good ventilation. Overheating is a common problem with elevators. Since elevator control systems are frequently located in areas that aren’t cooled during warm weather season, ventilation is essential to keep humidity and excessive heat from taxing the system. The temperature in uncooled spaces on the upper levels of buildings can get extremely hot in the middle of the summer. 5. Keeping your system clean. Dirt and debris that collect in your elevator’s central control system can cause the system to have to work harder to push all of that dust around, thus shortening the lifespan of the entire system. While all elevators have a problem every once in a while, you can dramatically reduce the problems you and your visitors and tenants have with your elevators by planning for your elevator to become obsolete, maintaining adequate ventilation and taking steps to prevent and control vandalism. To learn more about elevators, contact someone like Golden State Elevator Service...

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About The Worthiness Of An Air-Entrained Concrete Driveway

Posted by on Jul 8, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Are you tired of the bricks shifting in your driveway and want to get it reconstructed with concrete? You can also have problems with a concrete driveway, but it will be more durable if you get it constructed with air-entrained concrete. Find out below how an air-entrained concrete driveway can make your investment worthy, as well as what construction is estimated to cost.     What is Air-Entrained Concrete? Unlike the typical concrete that is used for constructing a driveway, air-entrained concrete contains a lot of microscopic bubbles. The bubbles are created by a contractor putting air in the concrete mixture. The amount of air used will depend on the quality of concrete that you invest in. The air bubbles will make up a large portion of the consistency of the concrete. However, you don’t have to worry about the strength of the concrete being compromised from the presence of bubbles. Air-entrained concrete is created with bubbles of a certain size and spaced in a specific way to keep the concrete firm. What Makes Air-Entrained Concrete a Worthy Investment? Air-entrained concrete is worthy because the bubbles in it can keep your driveway durable, as less maintenance will be necessary. The air bubbles are able to prevent the concrete from getting damaged from too much pressure. For instance, concrete can develop pressure when it is frozen and the ice begins to thaw out. The air bubbles will give the water from thawed ice a way to escape. If you use regular concrete, water will have nowhere to escape except by rising to the surface of the driveway. The pressure sits under the aggregate materials until it forces its way through and causes surface scaling. You then end up having to invest in repairs. Air-entrained concrete gets rid of the problem of premature surface scaling. Concrete can naturally get cracked and scaly over time, but it lasts longer when it is air entrained. What is the Estimated Price of a Concrete Driveway? The square footage of the driveway will be the main thing factored into the price of construction. Hiring a professional to remove the old driveway materials can also affect the price. You can expect to spend at least $900 or more for your new driveway. Get in touch with a contractor (such as one from http://www.unitstepjoliet.com) so that he or she can start constructing your air-entrained concrete driveway as soon as...

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The Dos And Don’ts Of Preventing Toilet Clogs

Posted by on Jun 25, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Dealing with toilet clogs is never a pleasant experience, but it’s something that most homeowners and even renters will run into at one point or another. When a serious clog occurs, it’s in your best interest to call a plumbing professional. However, there are some steps that you and others in your household can take to help prevent toilet clogs and prolong the life of your home’s plumbing system as a whole. DO Hold a “What Not to Flush” Presentation A lot of times, clogs are caused when products that aren’t supposed to be flushed are put down the toilet. If clogs have become a common occurrence at your home, you might consider talking with the other members of your household about what is appropriate to flush down the toilet versus what could damage the plumbing system. For example, many women don’t realize that they’re not supposed to flush tampons, and a lot of people also don’t know that most baby wipes and other cotton-based paper products (such as cotton balls) can also clog toilet drains. Sometimes, then, all it takes is a little clarification to resolve this issue. DO Keep Toilet Bowl Jets Clean Around the inside perimeter of your toilet bowl, there are multiple jets that are used to pump water out as your toilet flushes. Over time, these jets can become dirty and/or clogged, which can reduce their power and thus make your toilet more prone to clogging. Every few weeks, then, it’s in your best interest to clean off those jets using your toilet bowl cleaner or a toothbrush that’s no longer being used. DON’T Use Just Any Drain Cleaner Finally, don’t make the mistake of pouring just any drain cleaner down your toilet in an effort to keep your toilet drain clear. Be sure to carefully read the label of any store-bought drain cleaner, as many of them are not safe for use in toilet drains. That’s because many drain cleaners contain chemicals that product a great amount of heat while in action; this heat can be damaging to the plastic components of your toilet and its drainage system.  Now that you know what to do and what not to do when it comes to preventing clogs in your toilet, you can be sure to better protect your home’s plumbing system. As a result, you could save some money on maintenance and repairs down the road. For really bad clogs, contact a company like Always On Call Mountain Mechanical for help, and ask what they recommend in the future to prevent...

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How To Install Hardwood Floors On Your Own

Posted by on Jun 18, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Installing hardwood floors is a great way to transform any room. Hardwood is a stylish and extremely durable flooring option for just about any room in a home. This article will explain the installation process of prefabricated products. Getting the Right Product You can easily install your hardwood floor on your own with minimal power tools, but only if you buy the right product. Some hardwood flooring products need to be installed by professionals. Many prefabricated hardwood floors are sold over the counter at home improvement retail stores. These are the floors that are the easiest to assemble and install on your own. They are sold in packs of anywhere from 6 to 12 planks. The planes are usually 8-10′ long and 4-12″ wide. Look for the square footage coverage on the pack and take measurements of your property to see how many you will need. It is always a good idea to buy at least one extra pack because you are bound to waste some wood when it comes to cutting along the edges and walls. Laying the Floor Prefabricated hardwood flooring systems are made with a simple tongue and groove system. You simply attach each piece to each other with the tongue and groove, so you do not need to use screws or glue. However, the planks do not just snap into place. You will need to use a rubber mallet to knock the pieces together. Start with the tongue side facing the wall, then align the tongue of the next piece with it. Lay both pieces perfectly flat on the floor. Try to push the tongue into the groove as much as possible, then come along with a rubber mallet and knock it until it is tight. Be sure that you are only knocking on the groove side of the plank. Knocking the tongue side could ruin the plank. The hardwood will cover your floor very quickly once you start the installation. The hardest part is cutting the pieces to length. However, if you own or rent a simple miter saw, you can make short work of most cuts. It might get slightly more tricky if you have angled or rounded walls. With a compound miter saw you can easily make the mitered cuts. After the floor is installed, you are basically done because prefabricated floors already have a laminated finish. Your new floor will be ready to endure everyday wear and tear. Enjoy it! If you run into trouble, or would like a professional to install your floor, call a professional like MD Walk On Wood...

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3 Ways To Improve Your Air Conditioner’s Performance

Posted by on Jun 5, 2015 in Uncategorized |

As summer nearly approaches it is important that you are able to stay as comfortable as possible in your own home, even given the warm outside temperatures. Not only do you want to feel comfortable in your home, but you also want to be certain that your air conditioner isn’t going to break the bank this summer. To ensure you are not overworking your AC system, here are a few things that you can do at home for no-cost to improve the performance of your air conditioning unit: Moving Furniture Away from Vents: Though you may have a specific layout in your home the appeals to your needs, you may want to rethink how furniture pieces are positioned in your home. If furniture items like a couch, bookcases, or side tables are in front of your AC vents then you could definitely be experiencing a lack of air flow from your AC unit. This can cause you to run your AC longer just so you can feel a difference in the temperature.  Vacuum Filters: To ensure air from your AC condenser is being delivered into your home efficiently, you will want to be sure that your vent filters are clean. Dust, debris, and lint can definitely create blockage, which can prevent cold air from coming into your home. Along with reducing the amount of cold air that is entering into your home, you will also put your health at risk if your vents are dirty, as this will impact the quality of your home’s air.  Clean The Condenser: Having a clean condenser is critical, as this is the unit that brings in outside air, converts it into cold air, and delivers it into your home. Without a clean condenser, you will see a lack of airflow coming from your AC system, which will reduce the performance of how quickly the temperatures in your home drop.  Maintenance services like these will not only improve the performance of your air conditioning unit, but it will also allow you to use your system more efficiently, so you can reduce the temperatures in your home quickly, rather than having to run your unit all day just to see results. So, to help cut the cost of your electrical bill this summer, definitely be sure to take advantage of these tips and options, as they will definitely help reduce the electrical consumption of your air...

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Got A Sick Or Dying Tree? 3 Telltale Signs That It’s Time To Remove It

Posted by on May 13, 2015 in Uncategorized |

If you have a sick or dying tree, your first inclination might be to cut it down, but you don’t always have to. Dying trees that are strong and pose no threat to life, limb or property are great additions to your natural environment. Not only do they provide shade, they provide housing for a wide range of critters. So it’s always a good idea to keep a dying tree as long as possible. However, you should always be on the lookout for signs that it’s time to remove your sickly tree. Following are three telltale signs that you should watch for.  Expense Outweighs Benefit While it’s possible to maintain a sickly tree for years, it can get expensive. As your tree deteriorates, you will need to hire a tree service company to come in to cut and remove all diseased or dead portions of the tree. In the beginning stages, your tree might need to be pruned once per year or less frequently. However, as the disease progresses, you will have to hire a company more often. Most experts recommend pruning a damaged or dying tree each time you notice broken branches that are more than an inch in diameter. If the cost becomes too much for you to cover, it’s time to have the tree removed. Percentage of Damage If more than half of your tree is diseased, damaged or dead, you should have it removed. Be sure to take in account all portions of your tree, such as the branches, trunk and root system, when determining how much damage there is. If the root system and trunk are relatively healthy, but you can see damage on numerous branches, you might be able to salvage it. If the damage encompasses all portions of the tree, you probably won’t be able to. Furthermore, if the thinnest point of the trunk only contains approximately 20 to 30 percent healthy material, you should remove the tree regardless of what the rest of the tree looks like.   Threat of Falling If there is any threat that your tree may fall, you should have it removed immediately. To determine whether or not your tree is in trouble, inspect it. If it is leaning, even just a little bit, take it down. If more than half of the trunk is hollowed out or if there are major cracks in the trunk, have the tree removed.  While you can hang onto a dying or dead tree for several years, it’s not worth it if the tree poses a threat to you and your property. When in doubt about whether or not you can save a tree, hire a reputable tree service to do a thorough evaluation.  To learn more about tree services, contact a company like Smitty’s Tree Service...

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Top Reasons To Have New Carpet Installed In Your Home

Posted by on Apr 22, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Has it been years, perhaps even decades, since you last replaced your flooring? Are you unsure what color your Bill Clinton-era carpet was originally? If you’re trying to decide whether to replace your carpet or install hardwood flooring, here are some reasons for you to choose a new carpet installation: Time saving: A hardwood floor needs to be swept and mopped frequently, in order to stay clean. It also needs frequent waxing or polishing, in order to preserve the hardwood surface. They also need to be stripped and buffed regularly, to remove unsightly waxy build up. All this can take a significant amount of time every week to accomplish. However, carpeting usually needs only to be vacuumed once or twice a week and deep cleaned two or three times a year. This infrequent cleaning will allow you more free time to spend on activities besides chores. Noise reduction: A hardwood floor does little to dampen not only the sound of footsteps, but also other noises in the room. A carpet installation will help to cushion and absorb the impact of footprints, which can be especially important for your upstairs rooms. If you and your spouse or significant other keep different schedules, carpeting on the floor will help prevent you from waking each other up when you go to work and come home. If you have pets that like to patrol your home at night, having carpet installed will keep you from being startled awake by the click of their claws on your floor. Warmth: If you live in a cold climate, you probably already know what a shock it can be to step on the cold tile of your bathroom floor in the middle of the night. If you replace your current carpeting with hardwood or tile flooring, you’ll have to deal with that cold feeling in your whole home. By choosing to have a new carpet installation in your home, you’ll be insulating your feet against this type of extreme temperature changes. Color: When looking at hardwood or tile flooring, you may have already noticed that there is a relatively small color choice available. Carpet, on the other hand, comes in a wide variety of colors and textures. Depending on where you shop for your carpet installation, you should be able to find carpet in your favorite color. Also, if you don’t like the uniform look of ordinary carpet, you can even choose to purchase carpeting that has a pattern cut into the...

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How To Improve The Security Of Client Information In Your Offices

Posted by on Apr 15, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Keeping client information secured is an extremely important responsibility for any business. There are ways that you can increase the security of client information in your offices through changes in your physical office structure and through your office protocols. Should your client information be leaked, you could be found personally liable — in addition to losing the faith of your clients. Replace the Desk Locks in Your Offices Most desks today come with locking file cabinets for client information. But these locks often have the exact same keys and come with multiple copies of keys. You may want to have a locksmith replace the desk locks to ensure that they are secured. Otherwise, you should have protocols in place that ensure that employees do not keep any confidential data within their desks. Use Separate Locks for File Rooms and Server Rooms There are many reasons why someone who doesn’t have access to client files might have access to your office. For instance, cleaning staff may have keys to the external doors. You should keep separate locks for file rooms and server rooms to ensure that these staff members cannot get into these more confidential areas. Furthermore, keys to these confidential areas should only be given to those who absolutely need it. Call a Locksmith to Replace Your Locks Following Layoffs Any time someone leaves a company on a less than willing basis, you should always call a locksmith and replace any locks. Acquiring a locksmith is usually a fairly affordable process and will absolutely guarantee that your keys do not fall into the wrong hands. Even if a key does say “do not copy” on it, it’s no guarantee that a copy hasn’t actually been made — it just means a reputable locksmith won’t make a replacement key. Offer Free Replacement Keys It can be tempting to charge employees for the rekeying of locks when keys have been lost. But in reality, this usually only makes employees hesitate to report that their keys are lost. Offering free replacements will encourage employees to come forward as soon as possible. Remember to always limit your keys, key cards and access codes to those who absolutely need them. If someone does not either open or close the office, there’s no reason that they should have to have keys. It can be tempting to hand out keys to those who have earned them through promotions or otherwise, but if they aren’t needed, they just represent a security risk.  For more information, contact Anderson Lock & Safe, LLC or a similar...

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