Getting Your Garden Winter Ready

How To Install A Glass Block Basement Window

Posted by on Nov 30, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Install A Glass Block Basement Window

Glass block is a great window material choice, as it allows plenty of light into your basement, while preventing anyone from seeing in. It’s also durable and easy to maintain. You can install this type of window yourself if you’re a little handy using glass block panels. See below for instructions on how to install a glass block window for your basement. Tools For The Job: Glass block panel (in the size of your window) Hammer Pry bar Caulk and caulk gun Level Ladder Tape Measure Mortar Trowel Shims Protective eye wear and gloves Instructions: Begin by taking out the old window itself including the casing, jamb and sill Use your pry bar to get the jamb all the way out, including the bottom, sides and top jamb. If need be, you can use a circular saw or reciprocating saw to cut through it to help get it out, but be sure not to cut too far, or you can ruin your blade by hitting the concrete. If your window has a curb holding the sill in, remove both of these as well. In this case, you may need to use a chisel. Be sure to wear protective eye wear before chiseling. Once you have a clear area to work with, you can begin installing the glass block panel. To do this, you’ll first need to screw in a small piece of wood between the joists at the top of the window opening to help prevent the glass block panel from falling through the opening. After the piece of wood is in place, set the glass block inside the opening. At this point, you may want to have a helper hold the window in place while you shim and level the block panel.  Now that the window is in proper placement, it’s time to mortar around it to hold it in place. Keeping your shims in place, cut them flush against the window. Then, prepare your mortar according to the manufacturer’s directions. Use your trowel to carefully apply it to create a sloping curb from the window base down (just like your old window had before – this helps with drainage). Allow the curb to dry, then apply the mortar to the sides and top of the window. Smooth them when they are beginning to dry using the trowel or a smooth tool. Allow the mortar to dry completely, then use your caulk gun to caulk around the window (between the glass and the mortar, and between the mortar and the concrete foundation). Smooth out the caulk using your finger. Then caulk the inside of your window as well in the same manner. Installing a glass block window is fairly simple to do. The only downside is that this type of window cannot be opened. If you are looking for a window that can be opened/closed such as an egress window, it’s best to contact a replacement window company to have it installed. You can also visit this page, or others like it, for more...

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5 Questions Property Managers Should Ask Tenants With Bad Credit

Posted by on Nov 7, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 5 Questions Property Managers Should Ask Tenants With Bad Credit

Many property management companies have specific criteria that potential tenants must meet when they want to rent an apartment or house. Oftentimes people with bad credit are automatically denied the opportunities that people with good credit have. The problem with this is that both the landlord and the aspiring tenant may miss out on a great situation because of the unfortunate credit history. Instead, if you’re a property manager, you may want to ask these five questions to learn more about why the person has bad credit. Question #1: Are you willing to provide a higher initial deposit? Tenants with bad credit may be willing to provide a higher initial deposit on the home they want to rent. That can alleviate some of the worry on your part. You may have a lease agreement where the higher deposit automatically goes to the property owner if the tenant falls behind in rent. If a tenant has a higher deposit, the owner would still be financially protected while initiating eviction proceedings if necessary. Question #2: What are the main causes of your bad credit? Sometimes people who are financially responsible encounter a major tragedy that destroys their financial health. Whether it’s suddenly losing a job, a health crisis, or some other major problem, there is often not much standing in between the average person and bad credit. When you ask someone to explain their credit, you may be surprised at the answers. Question #3: How long have you been employed? How long someone has been employed can reveal a lot about how reliable they are. Someone who is steadily employed is likely going to be able to pay rent each month. Even if they may have made bad decisions about taking on too much debt in the past, someone who has been employed for 20 years may be an excellent tenant. Question #4: Can you verify your employment? If someone has been employed for a long time, it’s important to verify that employment. This may be something as simple as calling a business phone. If you do not trust that call, though, you may want to talk to the tenant about other ways to verify the employment, such as a letter on company stationery. Question #5: Why do you think you would make a great tenant? Listening to the answer to this question can let you in on how this tenant thinks about their responsibilities as a tenant. The tenant may volunteer references from past landlords and speak about how they have been an asset to land owners in the past. Pay attention and feel free to ask follow-up questions. Finally, keep in mind that you can ask any or all of these questions without letting the tenant know that they are being considered for the home or apartment. After asking the potential tenant these questions, you may want to invite them to ask you questions because you can also learn a lot about someone by the things that they want to know about the home. Ultimately, it’s important to trust your judgment when it comes to choosing tenants. For more information, contact a business such as Vintage...

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3 Ways To Soundproof Your Home From Outside Noise

Posted by on Sep 20, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Ways To Soundproof Your Home From Outside Noise

Noisy neighbors, street traffic, and other outside disturbances can make it difficult to stay in your home. Unless you are prepared to move, the best option is to take steps to soundproof your home. Here are some ways you can lower the noise levels inside your home.   Update Your Home’s Windows Your windows can not only allow air to leak in and out of your home, but they can also allow in noise from outside. To reduce the noise levels in your home, you can update your glass and frames to get a more soundproof effect.   For instance, a double- or triple-glazed window is more sound resistant than a single-glazed window. You can even opt for a seal that has a high sound resistance rating.   In addition to updating your windows, weatherstripping the windows can help. Ensure the weatherstrip is applied around the headers, sills, and jambs. Look for an acoustical caulk sealant. Once you have updated and weatherstripped the windows, consider adding insulated drapes to the windows.  Insulate the Walls Ideally, when sound hits your wall, the insulation absorbs most of it and prevents it from entering your home. Unfortunately, this does not always happen. If the insulation is not up to par, the sound can easily get through and seem to vibrate through your home.   If you are planning to upgrade the insulation to help stop the noise, consider using spray foam insulation. Spray foam insulation tends to completely cover an area, which means there is a smaller chance of the sound getting through your walls.   Baffle the Vents The vents in your home help to maintain the flow of air, but they also can allow sound to enter from outside. The sound is then transferred throughout your home with the help of the remaining vent system. Any vents that are facing particularly noisy areas need to be addressed to lower the sound levels in your home.   One way is to baffle the vents. Baffling helps to control the flow of air in your home and also helps to direct the sound coming in through the vents. You have the option of using a cardboard or foam attic baffle. Consult with your contractor to find the right option for baffling your vents.   There are other ways to insulate your home from sound. Consult with your contractor to explore other options and to find the right method for your particular home. Visit websites like for more info about your...

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3 Tips To Protect Your Septic Tank System

Posted by on Aug 19, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Tips To Protect Your Septic Tank System

Septic tank failure in your home would probably bring about a massive waste management problem and cost you a fortune to have the system repaired and replaced. A well-maintained septic tank system will usually serve you for longer, require less pumping and steer clear of frequent backups and damage. Read on for simple tips on how you can successfully maintain and increase the longevity of your septic tank system.  Conserve water Minimizing the amount of water getting into the septic tank system is very important. Too much water could upset the biological balance in the tank, undermining its ability to break down solid waste. This could lead to backups or the tank filling up prematurely. Keep a check on the amount of water you let into the septic tank by investing in low-flow showers and fixing leaky faucets around the house. You can also limit water inflow into the tank by pacing out your laundry loads and washing full loads of laundry at a time. Finally, avoid running the dishwasher and washing machine at the same time to reduce the stress on your septic tank.  Watch what goes in Dumping anything that doesn’t decompose into your drains and toilet is probably the easiest way to damage your septic tank system. Cigarette butts, facial tissues, diapers, and similar non-biodegrades can’t be broken down in the tank and may end up clogging the sewers and tank. Paints, harsh chemical cleaners or large amounts of household detergents can also be harmful to your septic tank system, as they can corrode piping and kill bacteria that break down solid waste in the septic tank. If you have been dumping such chemicals down your drains, consider introducing a small amount of septic tank additives to boost bacterial activity in your system. Finally, avoid dumping grease in your kitchen sink as it can add to the slug in the tank and necessitate more frequent pumping or cause serious backups. Consider skimming grease into a separate container and tossing it in the trash or in your food waste recycling.  Keep heavy things at bay Heavy machinery, foot traffic, or structures such as pavements and patios should be kept away from the septic tank, as they can compress the tank and piping, causing irreversible damage. Heavy things on the tank could also compress the soil in your drain field, causing failure. Be sure to also keep trees and shrubs away from your septic system, as their roots could damage piping or cause blockades in the tank and sewer...

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Remove Rust From The Outdoor Condenser Unit That Is Part Of Your Home’s Central Air Conditioning System

Posted by on Jul 27, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Remove Rust From The Outdoor Condenser Unit That Is Part Of Your Home’s Central Air Conditioning System

If the outdoor condenser unit that is part of your home’s central air conditioning system is often exposed to moisture and high humidity, you may have noticed that rust has formed on its exterior and interior components. If the corroded areas are not eliminated, they can become larger and damage key parts that are needed for the unit to operate properly. Learn how to remove rust spots, clean the condenser, and apply a rust inhibitor to it in order to protect the condenser unit from rusting again. Materials Needed water hose​ screwdriver rust dissolving agent sponges wire brush bucket of soapy water rust inhibiting spray drop cloth rubber gloves Remove Loose Debris From And Apply A Rust Dissolving Agent Turn off the central air conditioning system. Go outside and spray the condenser unit’s exterior to eliminate loose debris. Use a screwdriver to assist with loosening and removing hardware that is attached to the unit’s cover before removing it. Spray the interior parts of the condenser with water to remove dirty residue. Wipe a sponge that has been dipped into a rust dissolving agent to treat rust spots. Many rust dissolving products come in a gel form that will not drip while being applied. Wait a few minutes for the rust spots to begin dissolving. Afterward, move a wire brush swiftly back and forth over each spot. Apply more of the rust dissolving agent if it is needed. Rinse the treated portions of the condenser off with water when finished.  Eliminate Stains And Apply A Rust Inhibitor Fill a bucket with water and a small amount of detergent. Clean stained parts of the condenser unit’s interior and exterior with a soapy sponge. Rinse the sponge out with water and move it over the same parts of the unit. Wait for the unit’s interior and exterior to dry. Place a drop cloth on the ground, next to the condenser unit so that the rust inhibitor does not spill onto the grass or pavement. Put on a pair of rubber gloves and apply an even coat of rust inhibiting spray to the inside of the condenser unit. Apply a coat of the spray to the condenser’s cover, as well. Wait for the inhibitor to dry. Once this occurs, replace the condenser unit’s cover and secure it. Turn the power to the central air conditioning system back on. Keep the condenser unit maintained by occasionally removing debris from its cover and wiping off its interior and exterior parts. For more information, visit or a similar...

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Five Ways To Wow Neighbors On A Limited Remodeling Budget

Posted by on Jul 2, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Five Ways To Wow Neighbors On A Limited Remodeling Budget

If you want to do something around your home that will wow your neighbors, friends, and family, consider some projects that make a big impact on a limited budget. You don’t need thousands of dollars to make a dramatic difference in how your home looks and functions, and many of these ideas can be implemented with little cash out of your pocket. Five remodeling projects that make a big impact on a limited budget are: 1. Install new shutters. One way to make your home look completely fresh and different is to add new shutters. Depending on where you live, storm shutters will protect your windows and home during inclement weather, or you may choose strictly cosmetic shutters to install on the sides of your exterior windows. Either way, shutters give you the opportunity to bring a pop of color and a polished look to your home. A company like Budget Blinds Of Coachella Valley can give you more information. 2. Create a lush landscape. It doesn’t cost a lot of money to plant something, and beautiful flowers, shrubs, or a vegetable garden can bring a lot of joy to the entire family. Visit area nurseries to determine the best plants for your hardiness zone, and to pick up seedlings that will thrive without a green-thumb. 3. You can’t beat paint. If you are working on a shoe-string budget, consider investing in a couple cans of paint. A fresh coat of paint, inside or out, can make a dramatic difference in how your home looks. Talk with retailers about specific brands that don’t require a separate primer, which can save even more money. 4. Add that second bathroom. If you want to spend a little more on a project that can increase the overall value of your property, invest in a second bathroom. It is estimated that adding a half-bath to a home (just a toilet and sink) can improve property values over ten percent! Besides improving the appeal for potential real estate buyers, adding a second bath brings convenience to any household. 5. Build something. Depending on the budget that you are working with, a shed, pergola, or even a patio can increase living space and home storage. If you are lacking in funds for a detached building, consider adding a simple and inexpensive deck to your home, or construct a simple overhead for year-round protection from the elements. Don’t delay doing something this season to make your home more inviting and comfortable, or to enhance the curb appeal. These projects vary in cost and skill, but are perfect for homeowners seeking to do something dramatic without an inflated budget. Talk with contractors and retailers to get started on your own home improvement and wow your...

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Three Things To Look For When Shopping For Sofa Upholstery

Posted by on Jun 7, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Three Things To Look For When Shopping For Sofa Upholstery

The options are virtually endless when it comes to choosing the right sofa. Finding the perfect color, fabric, and price all play a part in it, but there are other options you need to consider when purchasing such an important piece of furniture. A sofa can serve multiple purposes including sitting, sleeping, and socializing with friends.In an effort to make sure your sofa is both aesthetically appealing and functional, you need to consider the type of upholstery fabric first and foremost. Here are some things to keep in mind when selecting the right fabric for your sofa at a fabric store.  Style of Fabric The style of fabric needs to complement both the home and the style of sofa you have. If you have a traditional frame, then you want to pick out a fabric that is more of a traditional style. The same can be said for a contemporary style of sofa. You also want to consider the theme you have throughout your home. It is best to stick with that same theme throughout rather than changing it up with a sofa. And last, you want to consider the pattern when you are looking at the fabric styles. If the room is on the larger side, you can stick to larger patterns; however, a small room would require a sofa with a smaller pattern style of fabric.  Durability of Fabric There are about 79.7 million households with a pet, according to a 2015-2016 survey conducted by APPA. Chances are you either own a pet now or you will consider getting one sometime in the future. If so, you want to make sure the durability of the sofa upholstery is strong, as many pets have some type of contact with the furniture. From pet hair to pet stains, you can expect some issues when you combine animals and furniture. To help stop pet issues from messing up your sofa, you want to stick with durable fabrics like microfiber or leather. Both of these are easy to clean and very resistant to stains.  Fade Resistant Placement of your sofa is important if you want the color to remain steadfast. If you leave your sofa in front of a window, you can expect the color to fade over time. The best way to gauge how fade resistant the sofa may be is to check the label on the fabric. This is rated using a 1-5 scale, with a 1 equaling most likely to fade. If you choose a fabric that is likely to fade, make sure you keep it protected as much as possible and away from the direct...

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How Installing A New Water Softener Can Make Cleaning A Breeze

Posted by on May 16, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How Installing A New Water Softener Can Make Cleaning A Breeze

If you dread cleaning out your bath and shower because of the rust and scale buildup, you’re not alone. The Salt Institute reports that just over 89 percent of all households have hard water deposits. While rainwater initially contains no rust, it can pick up substances over time that will eventually end up in your water and inside your home. By installing a whole-house water softener, you’ll be able to stop hard water from affecting your household pipes and other surfaces. The result is cleaner water and less grime to deal with. Here are some ways that a water softener can help make your toughest cleaning jobs easier. Eliminate Laundry Odors Once you get a new water softener installed in your home, one thing you’ll notice is that your laundry will smell better. Before, dirty clothes that used to smell like sulfur or underlying odors, will smell clean and fresh when washed in softened water. If you found that with hard water, you had to use more soap and fabric softener than recommended, you’ll find that less product is required to achieve cleaner, softer laundry. For all of your laundry cleaning tasks, clothes will resist fading and you’ll find that whites will be brighter than before. Toilets Stay Cleaner Longer Your toilet battles enough stains on a daily basis. Trying to keep your toilet odor-free with high rust, lime and contaminants settling in the tank around the clock, can be difficult. Adding a whole-house water softener unit helps to remove impurities in the water that lead to stains and water rings. Soft water will help keep your tank cleaner and smelling fresh, even when you don’t clean it after each use. Tap Water Tastes Better A water softener works when dirty water passes through a filter in the system that contains resin beads. The filter traps contaminants as well as magnesium and calcium through an ion exchange resin. From there, the water is purified and exchanged for sodium ions from the salt in the tank. The result is clean water free from bothersome tastes, residue and odors. This makes the water soft to drink and helps to make your ice cubes crystal clear. This should also eliminate scrubbing off residue and lime rings inside your drinking cups and dishes.  Sinks And Showers Look New Getting down on your knees and scrubbing sinks, showers and toilets can be a real chore with hard water buildup. You may have to use chemical cleaning products to clean and remove rust stains. With water softeners, you will find that your cleaning time is cut in half and your surfaces won’t have a visible residue. Call your local water softener company today to discuss what type of water treatment is best for your home and...

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Want To Turn Your Basement Into A Family Game Room? 4 Features To Add

Posted by on Apr 20, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Want To Turn Your Basement Into A Family Game Room? 4 Features To Add

It is easy for basements to go underutilized in homes, especially when they are not finished. If you have an unfinished, partially finished, or completely finished basement and want to turn it into a game room that the entire family can enjoy, you will want to invest in certain features. Padded Flooring Carpet is an excellent addition to this room because it provides a layer of protection for kids and items. If something were to fall down, landing on carpet would greatly reduce the chance of it breaking. It is also ideal for all stages of life as babies can crawl and toddlers can run around without fear of getting injured too badly. Rubber is another padded flooring option, which has a distinct advantage in being resistant to mildew and water. This is perfect for basements, where mold and moisture problems are more likely to happen. Built-In Storage If you want to avoid clutter in your game room, built-in storage is the way to go. Sure, you could always add storage chests, bookcases, and cabinets that provide you with the storage you need, but these solutions would take up space that could otherwise be used to accommodate more people or games. A great place to add storage space is below the stairway going down into the basement. Another option is to add built-in bookcases between the studs in the basement walls. Recessed Lighting Glaring light can definitely get in the way of enjoying games. Recessed lighting is the perfect way to illuminate your game room as it will not put a glare on computer monitors, projectors, or televisions. Adding dimmers will allow you to adjust the lighting to create the perfect ambiance for the situation. Soundproof To create a space that anyone can use at any time without disturbing others in the house, you should opt for soundproofing. Soundproofing is possible with gypsum wallboard, which will minimize how much noise spreads throughout the rest of the home. It is important to soundproof the walls as you do not want a loud gaming night to wake up your closest neighbors. For most homeowners, the basement is an opportunity to create something that fits their wants and needs, and a game room is one of many options that you have. When you start planning, adding some or all of these features onto your list of things to do will help you create an ideal game room for the family. If you need help remodeling your basement in any way, contact a company like Property Service Agency...

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Know A First Time Homeowner? The Best Non-Conventional Gifts

Posted by on Mar 17, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Know A First Time Homeowner? The Best Non-Conventional Gifts

If a family member or close friend has recently bought their first home and you are looking to get them a gift the can really use, you want to skip the local home décor store. Instead of getting them a candle or something to hang on the wall, get them something that they can really use. The homeowner needs thing that will help them take care of their new investment. Here are a few different options you purchase for the homeowners if you know they don’t have the items. Outdoor Power Tools Does the homeowner need a lawn mower, weed whip, leaf blower or any other outdoor power equipment, like that from Joe’s Tractor Sales Inc, to help them with their lawn maintenance needs? If so, these are great gift ideas because they may not be at the top of the priority list for the homeowner, or the homeowner may not want to spend the money on the items. A Grill   A gas grill they can use in the garage or on a back patio is a great gift to help them enjoy their new home and entertain. You can accompany this gift with tools, a grill cover and any other items that you think will go well with the item. If they are interested in a charcoal or infrared grill, you’ll want to explore all your grill options before making a purchase. Cleaning Service Have you noticed at the house that the gutters are filled, the drains are slow, or that there are other problems? Pay for a plumbing company to do a pipe cleaning, for a gutter cleaning company to do a gutter inspection and cleaning. These may be tasks that they don’t know how to do, and that they aren’t sure who to hire for the work. Professional painting, carpet cleaning or chimney cleaning are other suggestions you can try. As a new homeowner it can be hard to know what you really need, and there are so many different expenses that come along with buying your first home. Take a walk around the home and talk with them about what they have to take care of the house and what they need, so you can get them something that they will use regularly. They will get tons of item that aren’t necessary to help maintain their financial purchase, but you can give them a gift that will be useful for...

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