The House is Almost Ready

The place needed a little bit of work and that is what I have been doing since my father decided to move in with my sister. The simple things we took care of pretty quickly. I repainted the plantation shutters, which were not looking that great and aside from that the color did not match on all of them. I suppose that most people would not really notice, but when you put a place on the market it is the sort of detail you want to pay attention to. I spent a lot of time in the front yard, trimming the hedges and planting some new shrubs and flower beds. The idea is pretty simple, when the potential buyer pulls up you want to make a good first impression. Then I had the trim covered with vinyl siding which is a big deal if you are going to be taking care of the place.…

Fail-Proof Tips for Controlling Summer Pests in Rural Areas

As the temperatures begin to heat up, the bugs start to come out in droves. In search of food, shelter, and a place to reproduce, these creatures will take over inhabited areas. For those who live in rural homes or neighborhoods, the pest problem can be a little more difficult to control.

Mosquitoes

To successfully fight off mosquitoes, keep all sources of water emptied when not in use. Rain barrels should be covered and treated, open containers should be flipped so that rain water cannot collect, and mosquito pond treatment should be applied to larger bodies of water. Mosquitoes will travel in search of food, but reducing their ability to reproduce will significantly reduce their numbers. With the risk of illnesses like West Nile Virus or Zika Virus, mosquito control is very important.

Ticks

Ticks are another concern for humans and pets during the warm growing season. Ticks are known for spreading diseases as well, and they can also cause anemia in pets with heavy infestations. Ticks have a very long life span, and will feed in three cycles. Just a few ticks can be a big problem. To control ticks, make sure that the grass is always cut short around the home. Purchasing guinea fowl and chickens for tick control is also an excellent idea. Pesticides can be used in the yard, but chickens and guineas will do a far better job controlling the ticks in many cases.

Spiders

Spiders can become a big nuisance on porches and decks, with webs all over everything. Sometimes, dozens will infest even the smallest porch in search of a good meal. To keep spiders at bay, keep outdoor lights off to ward off prey, such as moths and beetles. Spiders will congregate in the same places that their prey does. Bug zappers are also excellent options when outdoor lights need to remain on.

Controlling bugs will keep the family healthy and happy, while keeping indoor infestations at bay. Bugs can quickly breed out of control without natural predators or population control.

 

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3 Benefits of Natural Gas in Your Home

There are a lot of benefits to using natural gas in your home. Even if you don’t have natural gas, you can easily obtain natural gas piping installation. Natural gas can easily be run to stainless steel, carbon steel, fiberglass, and more. From there, you can experience all of the benefits for yourself.

Convenience

There is a significant amount of convenience involved with natural gas. You will never run out of fuel. Plus, you don’t have to worry about having fuel when the power goes out. If you are still using electricity for everything, you know the frustration of not being able to cook when you lose power.

Savings

You will quickly find that you can save a lot of money by using natural gas in your home. You can choose to heat your home as well as cook your food using gas. You will use less electricity and therefore see a savings on your energy bill each month. You may be surprised by all of the ways that you can use natural gas, and each option will help you to save even more per month.

Environmental Benefits

You will also be able to take advantage of various environmental benefits. It is the cleanest burning fossil fuel, making it environmentally clean. It doesn’t leave behind soot or ash. If you look at power plants that produce electricity, there is a significant amount of soot and ash. It also causes an unpleasant odor to enter the atmosphere. By choosing natural gas in your home, you choose a cleaner option that doesn’t contribute to smog and acid rain.

More and more homes across the United States are choosing to implement natural gas. You can have it installed in your home to start experiencing the benefits right away.…

Three Tips for Making Sure Your Home is Ready for the Spring

As winter comes to an end, many people look forward to all of the joys that come with spring. The days get longer and sunnier, the flowers start to bloom, and the spring rains start to fall during this lovely season. However, all of that rain and other spring weather can also have a bad effect on your home. If you’re a homeowner, make the smart move and start now to get your home ready for the spring season. Here are three things that you can do to get in shape before the rains get really serious.

 Make Major Repairs First

If you’ve been waiting for winter to be over so that you can make major repairs to your home or yard, now is the time to act. Too often, homeowners delay making major repairs because they are either unsure of where to begin or they are worried that starting a big project will cause problems. Avoid this by hiring local pros to take the guesswork out of your major repairs. For example, if you need dredging equipment Porter TX, look for a reputable company like Sandling Inc to help you get your property in good shape for the spring.

 Check Your Roof and Gutters

One of the worst things that can happen to your home is a flood. You can avoid this happening by making sure that both your roof and your gutters are in good shape before the rain starts. Even a small leak can lead to serious and lasting problems in your home, thanks to water damage that leads to black mold and mildew problems. Get your gutters cleaned out and repaired if necessary to make sure that water goes where it needs to.

Remove Damaged Tree Limbs

Avoid a major catastrophe by cutting down any seriously damaged tree limbs or branches on your property. Winter snows often damage trees. Then, spring winds and rains can cause these branches to fall and hurt someone. Take care of your home now to avoid bigger problems later.…

The Advantages of Jacksonville pool features

A variety of advantages can be gained with a screened Jacksonville pool enclosure around your swimming pool. If you’re interested in this home improvement feature, understand the advantages and make the right choice for your home.

Blocking Debris

The enclosure prevents debris from trees and other plants from blowing into the water. Nobody has to regularly clean up leaves, seeds, pine cones and other organic matter from the water.

Making the Property Safer

An enclosure with a locked door prevents exploration from kids who shouldn’t be near the pool unsupervised. The enclosure itself stops roaming pets or wildlife from getting into the water.

 Keeping Out Bugs

Swimmers and people lounging by the swimming pool aren’t bothered by pesky mosquitoes, gnats, black flies and other bugs. You won’t find dead June bugs and other insects floating in the water.

In fact, a screened-in pool area becomes something of an outdoor room, just as a screened patio or gazebo does. It’s a great place to relax without having to cope with annoying insects.

Beating the Elements

A non-screened roof on the enclosure means nobody has to deal with ultraviolet light shining down on them unless they choose to move into the sun. This type of roof also stops the water from heating up throughout the day due to the effects of hot sunshine. That’s an advantage during long summer days in sunny, hot climates.

You can even have a pleasant swim when it’s raining if there’s a roof over the pool. If the house roof is extended outward over the pool, the area becomes more like an extension of the home. Ceiling fans can be installed under the roof away from the water. These fixtures create enjoyable breezes for people who want to sit on the pool deck on hot days.

 Providing Decorative Options

These structures come in a variety of shapes and roof styles, along with a range of colors. Homeowners can choose to color-coordinate the enclosure with the house or pick a complementary hue.

Considerations

Be sure your home insurance covers pool screen enclosures. That may require adding a rider to the policy at an extra fee.

Concluding Thoughts

Understanding the advantages of a screened enclosure will help you decide whether to have this home improvement feature installed by a company such as Core Outdoors. The enclosure can boost enjoyment of the swimming pool and keep the area safer.…

How To Select The Right Cleaning Firm For Your Residence Or Office

when your is a occupied proprietor else banian from the company, class primary or home owner at some point you need to have to outsource some of the cleaning tasks to the outdoors cleaning business. The next query you ought to ask is no matter whether you require signing a contract and what are the procedures for canceling it in case you are not happy with the cleaning solutions you get.

Then set a time to meet with them once again so you can get quotes, cleaning specifications and ask them the right questions. Let’s say you are looking for a floor cleaning companies that will come in to clean your workplace 5 days per week. 1st of all ask representatives of the cleaning organizations how they got their numbers. In this case, initial issue you need to have to do is invite representatives of the cleaning organizations to your workplace, show them the building and explain to them what you want.

The next query you should ask is regardless of whether you want to sign a contract and what are the procedures for canceling it in case you are not satisfied with the cleaning solutions you acquire.

Then set a time to meet with them once again so you can get quotes, cleaning specifications and ask them the proper questions. Let’s say you are hunting for a cleaning company that will come in to clean your office 5 days per week. Initial of all ask representatives of the cleaning organizations how they got their numbers. In this case, the initial thing you need to have to do is invite representatives of the cleaning companies to your office, show them the creating and explain to them what you want.

The subsequent query you should ask is no matter whether you need to sign a contract and what are the procedures for canceling it in case you are not happy with the cleaning services you receive.

Making Small Areas Look Larger: Three Time-Honored Tricks

Many homes today lack the amount of space desired by residents for the atmosphere they really want.  And the cost of housing takes the major portion of the average citizen’s lifetime income.  So most seek to make the best environment out of what they have.  In many cases, this entails making a smaller home appear more spacious than it is.  Using these techniques and strategies, anybody can accomplish this.

One approach is the use of wall color.  While rich colors are attractive and give off the tone of warmth, without the proper amount of lighting they tend to produce a sense of enclosure that makes a room feel smaller than it actually is.  When coupled with low level lighting and average height ceilings this effect reduces the sense of spaciousness.  The obvious alternative is to use colors that are lighter.  Colors that approximate the outdoors tend to seem more spacious, helping to make a room more attractive and inviting.

Another strategy is to minimize the space consumed by furniture.  Try items that expose more of the floor to view.  The ability to see open floors gives the impression of more space, thereby making the room or area seem larger.  Similarly, take advantage of wall mountings whenever feasible.  For example, instead of using floor-standing cabinets and furniture, try installing shelving that is mounted into the walls, leaving the floor itself open.  One can shelve all their primary reference materials and books from Barnes and Nobles on wall-mounted sets of shelves that can serve as a family “library.”  New books, texts and research materials –  obtained using Groupons for discounts of up to 90% off new and used text books, for example – can expand the area collection into a quiet study area and/or workspace.  Even desk and counters can be mounted in the walls, thus leaving open floor space below.

A third trick is to use area rugs rather than leaving the floor naked – be it carpeted or wood or tile.  The use of the area rug gives the image that there is additional space since it doesn’t cover the entire floor.  And use furniture that has defined legs which also permit the floor beneath them to be visible to the viewer.

While none of these tactics increases the room size, they give a sense of airiness or spaciousness that becomes increasingly desirable when space is at a premium.…

Cooking with a Wood Fired Barbecue

Long before the advent of charcoal briquettes and propane people were cooking their meals over wood fueled fires. From the days of cave-men to less than one hundred years ago wood was the fuel of choice when it came to cooking. In this modern age we are constantly looking for a faster, cleaner and easier way to do everything, including preparing our meals. This has led to the development of larger accessory laden gas fueled grills lining the isles of home improvement stores and showing up in our backyards.

But for the barbeque purists out there nothing tastes quite the same as preparing their favorite barbeque dish over a wood fired grill.

Why is this? What could possibly work better then the latest and greatest in barbecue technology?

Depending on the type of wood used the "Grill-Master" (that guy who hovers over the grill creating barbecue master pieces) can create flavors in the meat, poultry or fish that just can not have over a more modern gas fueled grill. This flavor can further be adjusted just by the amount of wood used, how hot the fire is, and how much smoke the meat is allowed to marinate in.

There are several types of wood fired barbeques on the market today. They are sometimes referred to as smoker grills.

The offset firebox is the one most of us are used to seeing. These come in all sizes, from small family sized units to large trailer born monsters capable of feeding several hundred people. The distinguishing character of the offset firebox is, well the offset firebox. Set off to the side and slowly below the main cooking chamber is the firebox. This separates the food from direct heat and allows for a nice slow cooking temperature.

The bullet style smoker is not actually a smoker but more than what is called a cold smoker or water smoker. They use a pan of water between the heat source and the meat, thereby blocking any direct heat that would cause any overcooking. In a sense they are not really considered a barbecue because of the way they work.

The main chamber cooker is the third type of wood fired barbeque. These are barrel shaped and allow the fire to be built off to one side with the meat offset from the wood allowing for an indirect cooking method. You do need to be careful with how large of a fire gets built because there is no physical separation between the heat source and the meat. The fire need to be kept small and tended in a timely manner through the cooking process.

Of course all this is a moot point if you do not select the right type of wood. For a wood fired barbecue nothing works better than a fruit bearing hardwood such as oak, hickory, pecan, maple apple and of course from Texas mesquite. Do not use softwoods or the wood from evergreens or conifers. Aside from burning at a lower temperature …

Five Benefits of a Wood Fence

The wooden fence is one of the most loved and commonly used fencing options in America today. It symbolizes America’s heritage as far back as the settlers and farmers having to fence their barns, homes and farms using wood and they come with many wonderful advantages. The five main reasons to have of a wooden fence are:

1. Eco-Friendly

One of the many benefits of a wood fence is that it is very friendly to the environment as compared to its vinyl and aluminum counterparts. Wood is obviously a natural material that matures synergistically. Trees used for making wooden fences can be grown in large scale and old fencing panels can be disposed of without the risk of harming the environment.

2. Easy to Install

Unlike other types of fences such as vinyl and wrought iron, a wood fence is very easy to install. If a post is taller than the rest, it can easily be cut to the required length even after the concrete footing has been set. Vinyl and metal posts are fabricated, meaning that their heights are not easy to adjust.

It is also easy to affix fence panels to wooden fence posts, which is an advantage over vinyl and metal posts that are prefabricated to firm tolerances that must be adhered to during the installation process. In addition, wooden posts can be maneuvered easily if the distance between two nearby posts is unusually big.

3. Aesthetic Appeal

Wooden fencing plays a major role in adding the much-needed aesthetic value to homes. The aesthetics of wooden posts can be achieved through a variety of ways including staining, carving and painting. Water resistant paints and stains can be bought from local hardware or paint stores and homeowners have the option of choosing their favorite colors or hues of stain. In addition, wooden posts can be repainted on a regular basis to change the look of the fence and to prevent it from looking dilapidated or worn out.

4. Affordability

In comparison to many fencing options, wooden fences are inexpensive. The materials for making a wood fence cost considerably less than other fencing materials such as metal. When time comes to repairing or replacing wooden posts or planks, a homeowner can easily work on individual pieces instead of having to take out whole sections of the fence to get the job done.

Interestingly, many repairs and replacements of wood fences can be carried out by homeowners by using cheap materials found at local home improvement stores or things available in the tool shade like nails, hammers and pliers. The cost of doing repairs or replacements is low and the time needed to do it is usually very short.

5. Variety

Fences made out of wood are available in a variety of impressive designs that homeowners can choose from. Notable wood fence designs include picket, table top, post-and-rail, stockade, split rail, lattice top, French Gothic, spaced board, and paddock. There is also a wide variety of caps that can be …

Save Money And Refinish Your Hardwood Flooring

One of the reasons why people don’t start home improvement projects because of the presumed cost of the project. Refinishing your wood floors doesn’t have to be expensive. As a matter of fact, if you have some time, you can save yourself several dollars over what professionals will charge you.

The first step in refinishing your hardwood floors is removing all furniture, rugs, and mats that are on the floor. It’s also a good idea to wear a dust mask as you are going to be stirring up quite the dust storm as you go about your business.

Your goal in refinishing your hardwood floors is to turn back the hands of time to when your hardwood floors were first installed. In order to achieve this feat, you will need to start by renting a heavy-duty sander to smooth out any rough spots and to remove the current stain that is on your floor. Move the sander in the direction that moves with the lines on your hardwood floor, paying particular attention that you do not apply more pressure anywhere. It’s important to make sure that you apply equal pressure to all parts of your floor as you want to avoid creating ‘pits’ in your hardwood floor, which will require more sanding. Do not move across the hardwood floor lines, especially if you have small grooves or beveled edges.

Once you’ve finished with your initial sanding you must sweep and vacuum the dust from your floor and lightly wash it. This part is often not given the proper care it deserves and is very important when refinishing hardwood floors. The reason it is so important is that the tiniest speck of dirt and dust will show up when you stain the floor. It is also important that you use only a damp mop for washing the floor rather than a wet mop. If there is too much water in the floor that has been sanded it will cause stains.

Once your stripped hardwood floors are dry, its time to stain your floor. Depending on the type of hardwood you have, and taking into consideration the room’s current decor, you can choose either a darker stain, a lighter stain, or go natural. Another popular option that protects and coats your floor is polyurethane

While refinishing hardwood floors is time consuming, you do not have to move out of your home in order to accomplish it. The stains and protective coatings do not have harsh fumes so they are not dangerous to breathe. You do want to take care not to walk on your floor until it is completely dry. If you do not wait you will have wasted all that time and effort and have to either start over or try to hide the footprints.…