Category Archives: Home Improvement

Compelling Reasons to Install Window Shutters

Person pulling the window shutters up

Person pulling the window shutters upWindow shutters are still popular these days for many reasons. For one, it has an appealing, clean look that other alternatives can’t offer. Now, drapes and blinds might give you the same coverage, but these don’t offer the same appeal. Another reason to use shutters is child safety. It doesn’t have dangling cords or strings that can potentially tangle a child. You can’t say the same thing with blinds or drapes.

Here are more reasons to use window shutters for your home in Fort Worth, TX:

It Has a Long History

Do you know that the Greeks used shutters? For thousands of years, interior designers have been obsessed with blocking the natural elements, and the good old shutter has been known to deliver. Since it’s made of wood and composite materials, you can expect it to last. While not all of your neighbors will be encouraged to use it, you can be sure that it’s not a fading fad either.

Provides Better Privacy

In the past, you would need to install net curtains for privacy. With modern shutter designs, it’s just a matter of twisting the slats and light can get through the room, but it will be extremely difficult for the person outside to see you.

Provides Better Insulation

Whether it’s a hot or cold day, shutters keep your home insulated. When it’s cold, a well-fitted shutter can block all the warm air from your leaky windows and frames. When it’s hot, shutters prevent direct sunlight from coming in, keeping your room a bit cooler.

Shutters are originally designed to protect the windows from the outside, but you have more options these days. You can have shutters from the inside or the outside because there are just too many designs to choose from.

Three Ways to Improve Airflow in Your Home

Cleaning an air duct with a brush

Cleaning an air duct with a brushAirflow inside your home is essential for your health and for maintaining temperatures indoors. You need to circulate warm air during winter and cold air during summer.

With a mechanical ventilation system, you can reuse fresh air to cool your house and save energy. The good thing about this system is that any reliable HVAC service in Knoxville can install it. However, this isn’t the only way to improve airflow in your home. The following tips might come in handy:

1. Attic Vents

Install vents in your attic to release the warm air trapped inside your house. During summer, you can open the vents to keep your home cold and shut them during winter to maintain heat. Make sure that the vents are correctly fitted to prevent freezing, drafty air from seeping in during winter or rain dripping during the rainy season.

2. Windows and Doors

Open your windows and doors to improve airflow in your home, especially during the day when you are around. Drafts will ensure that fresh air is distributed in your home as compared to you just turning on an air conditioner, which is positioned in one room since its functionality can be limited.

3. Furniture

Position your furniture in such a way that airflow is not restricted. Having a big piece of furniture such as an armoire in the middle of the room will prevent the flow of warm air during winter and cold air during summer.

Additionally, you can install fans to circulate air around the room. For the kitchen and bathroom, you need to install exhaust fans to extract air. Make it a habit to clean your AC filters to prevent dust and other allergens from entering your home.

Making Your Home Truly Comfortable and Safe for Your Family

Family picture in front of a house

Family picture in front of a houseImproving the quality of living of your family starts at home. And as one of the leaders of the household, you should initiate some things that will help your family live in comfort. Some families think that it is difficult to do. But if you know what you need and how to prioritize them, you can make things much better.

If you are looking for some ways to improve your family’s quality of life, you have to start with some baby steps. Here are some of the things that you may consider putting in your list of priorities.

Improve the Air Quality

One of the very first things you need to improve is the quality of air. Foremost, the air quality has a direct influence on your family’s health. If you air is too humid, there is a higher chance that your space will become a breeding place for pests, such as mites, molds, and mildews. All these things can cause allergies and illnesses.

Improve Water Quality

The drinking water in your house should be of the highest quality. You have to check if the quality of water at home is “hard” or calcified. What you need to do is install a water softener. You can always seek the help and advice of reliable soft water device providers in Provo.

Improve Sleep

The quality of life is immediately affected if sleep is compromised. What you need to do to improve your family’s quality of sleep is to invest in high-quality beds and mattresses. Get mattresses that have good lumbar support. You should also get high-quality pillows and comfy blankets.

These are only some of the things to keep in mind if you want to improve your family’s quality of life. To make things easy, focus on the needs and keep it simple.

How to Allergy-Proof Your Home in 4 Ways

photo of a man cleaning air duct

photo of a man cleaning air ductHave you been frequently suffering from allergy symptoms lately? Your home might be harboring invisible irritants that could be exacerbating your allergy. Here are ways to banish them out for good.

1. Get Rid of Wall-to-Wall Carpeting

Your carpet could be accumulating just about all kinds of allergens over the years. When you tread over them, these allergens could be released into the air. If you or anyone in your household suffers from a severe allergy, it’s best to get rid of the carpet and maintain a hardwood or tiled floor instead as they’re easier to clean. Additionally, place a doormat outside the door to keep those irritants out of your home.

2. Clean Your HVAC System

Your heating and cooling system’s filter is prone to accumulate dust and other allergen particles. Make sure to change those according to manufacturer’s specification. In addition, the ductwork through which air is circulated in and out of your home could also be in dire need of cleaning as well. There are MN air duct cleaning services that specialize in this type of work.

3. Check for Mold Growth

There are a hundred thousand species of molds and some of them might be thriving inside your while you’re none the wiser. Some of their common breeding grounds are under your sink, bathroom, or cabinets. To deter their growth, recaulk tubs and sinks after a few years, replace broken tiles, fix leaks promptly, and dry off wet surfaces.

4. Change Drapes and Sheets Regularly

Fabrics can easily collect particles that can cause allergy. That’s why, wherever possible, use plastic shades as a window treatment. If you have to use fabric drapes, change them regularly. The same goes for bed sheets and pillowcases.

Suffering from an allergy can be very frustrating. But these simple changes can go a long way in helping minimize allergy attacks.

Tips for Choosing New Windows for Your Home

man installing a sliding window

man installing a sliding windowWhen your home’s windows are too old or damaged beyond repair, you need to start thinking about replacing them. That’s because such windows are not just an eyesore but also a security threat. As you head out to the market to shop for new windows, here are four tips to help you make the right decision:

Choose the Right Material

Residential windows in Salt Lake City come in a variety of materials. You can choose between wood, vinyl, aluminum, and fiberglass. Wooden windows are popular among homeowners wanting to maintain a classic look, while aluminum and vinyl frames are perfect for modern home designs. Fiberglass composite windows are much stronger compared to aluminum and vinyl, but they are a bit more expensive.

Think about Energy Efficiency

Selecting the ideal kind of windows can help avert unnecessary power expenses. To find the best windows, look at the R-values. Windows with the highest R-values have the best insulation features. Such windows do not allow drafts to pass through them. Thus, your home stays warm and comfortable without needing to overwork your furnace.

Think about Return on Investment

The natural tendency is to go for the most affordable windows in the market and save more on the project. However, the price should never be the leading factor when choosing windows. Think more about the return on your investment. You want windows that are durable, easy to maintain, and blend with your décor.

Check the Warranties

No homeowner wants to install windows only to have to incur the cost once again after a few years. Ideally, you must choose windows that come with a warranty. If you can get an extended warranty, then that’s even better.

Installing new windows for your home can do wonders for its functionality and visual appeal. By looking at a few essential factors, you can settle on the right windows for your needs.

A Primer on Detergents: How They Work and Why They are Different From Soap

Person holding cleaning productsYou probably know that it is okay to use detergents on woolen garments, whereas the converse is true for soap. Some people use the words “soap” and detergent interchangeably, but they are not the same. Soap is a type of detergent this is typically in solid form. Most of the time, soaps are made from naturally sourced raw materials.

Let us take a closer look at detergents and how they work.

A spotlight on detergents

Aside from soap, stain removers, hair shampoo and shaving foam can be considered as detergent products. Liquid is the most usual form for detergents used for cleaning today. They are chemical compounds widely used for cleaning purposes.

The first detergents based on surfactant were introduced to America in the 1930s. Laundry products and commercial dishwasher chemicals – like those available from firms such as BC Industrial Services, LLC – have undergone various incarnations since then.

How detergents work

The surfactant composition of detergents make them effective cleaning products. Once mixed with water in the dishwasher or washing machine, one end of the surfactant is attracted to oily substance, while the other is hydrophilic (attracted to water).

As the machine works, the grease breaks down further and further until it detaches from the dirty dishes or your clothes.

Detergent versus soap

Detergents are more soluble in water and offer better cleaning results even with hard water. Moreover, because of their hydrocarbon structure, detergents are biodegradable. However, synthetic products are not fully degradable, and end up as pollutants, when they are not dissolved by microorganisms in sewage.

Synthetic detergents became available in the aftermath of the Second World War. Most chemical cleaners today are of synthetic compounds. Since the 1970s, there has been a huge concern for the buildup of pollutants from detergent use, and the demand for biodegradable surfactants is relevant now more than ever.

The next time you wash jeans stained with grease or place dirty dishes on the dishwasher, think for a minute about what goes on in there. It’s good to choose detergents that are effective cleaners but also cause fewer problems as pollutants.

The Proper(ty) Etiquette: 4 Rules You Should Follow in Viewing Houses

a couple looking at their houseThis is probably the less stressful part of home buying: viewing the houses. But just because it’s the fun part doesn’t mean there are no rules here. In fact, there’s an unspoken, yet generally-agreed etiquette in the real estate industry when looking at properties. Be a little more conscious about your actions and make sure you follow these do’s and don’ts:

Do: Be punctual.

At the very least, respect the time you and the agent set. Arrive at the property on time. More than communicating respect though, being punctual makes the right impression. And that is crucial, especially if you’re buying in a competitive market, let’s say, in Overland Park. You want to present yourselves as serious, responsible buyers so you could gain some advantage compared to other people bidding and increase your chances of getting this deal.

So the next time you view homes for sale that Overland Park communities offer, don’t be late.

Do: Remove your shoes.

In most instances, it’s acceptable to keep your shoes. But if you saw shoes piled up at the entrance or noticed that the carpet has a light color, it’s best to take your shoes off. Again, this shows respect to the house and the agent. Other times, there are surgical booties prepared. Whatever your fashion and style preferences are, wear them. If this is going to be your future home, you don’t want guests ruining your new flooring, right?

Don’t: Stay for too long.

It’s a common question people ask, just how long is it okay to stay in the house? Well, if you’ve already seen what you need to see and asked what you need to ask the agent, then there’s no reason to linger at the place anymore. Keep the visit short and simple.

Don’t: Bring food.

Leave your chocolates and snacks in the car. But what if the kids go hungry and throw tantrums, you ask? That points to another principle here: leave the kids at home with your babysitter.

It’s never a good idea to bring snacks to a property viewing, as it might stain or cause smudges on couches or floors. You don’t want the agent cleaning up after that mess. And it’s not a good idea also to bring kids as well, as they might keep you from focusing on inspecting the house (which is the real objective here) and they might accidentally break things. Not a fun house viewing anymore, right?

The house viewing is the fun part of home buying. These rules aren’t made to take out that fun; in fact, it’s meant to keep it a more enjoyable experience for you.

How Much Should Appliance Repair Cost Nowadays?

a woman shaking hands with a repairmanNowadays, technology is very advanced. Still, appliances are not invulnerable to damage. With that in mind, if you are thinking of hiring someone for appliance repair in Wellington, the cost of doing so will only be cheaper by spending not more than 50% of the price for replacing the item.

The so-called 50% cost rule applies to most types of household appliances. It is usually advisable to repair them if they are not yet past the manufacturer’s stated life expectancy.

Cost Estimation

You should determine the recommended lifespan of your broken appliance to see if repairing it makes more sense. Most replacement parts are available for at least seven years from the appliance’s data of manufacturing, so hiring a tradesperson to fix it will be more cost-efficient in case you have only been using it for a few years.

Consumer surveys also showed that going to an independent repair shop has a higher chance of providing better results. Choose an authorised electrician when an appliance is still under warranty. However, there are some items that you will need to replace after the first time they become damaged. Novelty appliances are an example.

Proper Disposal

Some appliances take up space in your kitchen drawers or cupboards either because they hold sentimental value or you still think that they will be useful someday. On the contrary, an appliance that has not been used for more than three months should be thrown away, especially if it is only meant for one-time use.

The same should also be done for electronics parts, such as phone chargers and cords. Buying a replacement can be more economical, but take note to dispose of unwanted items properly.

By not immediately deciding to buy a replacement, you avoid spending a hefty amount and help in reducing environmental waste. Ask for at least three recommendations before choosing the right contractor.

Choosing Kitchen Countertops in 3 Effective Ways

Stylish kitchen countersThe kitchen is one of the busiest places at home. Not only is it a place to get your bellies filled, it is also the nook that helps you wind down after a long day. Food helps, so does wine. Therefore, it is not a surprise how the kitchen is always the first place at home to be worn out. Remodeling the kitchen is not uncommon. But, there is always a first time.

One of the trickiest parts when renovating a kitchen is choosing a countertop. It might just be a part of the overall kitchen, but it is the heart of the whole area. Finding the right kitchen countertop in Utah can be challenging, but there are ways to easily find the right one for you.

1. Purpose and function

What will you use your kitchen countertops for? Who will use it? How often will you be using it? Answering these questions as honestly as possible can help you find the right material to use. Consulting with your contractor can help you have better options to choose from.

2. Style

Your countertop style should match with that of your overall kitchen theme and home style. Considering this, after knowing your functions, can help you find one that is aesthetically pleasing while at the same time help increase your home’s overall value.

3. Cost

Countertops are not cheap, but they’re a good investment, especially if it’s going to be used long term. Set a realistic budget and learn how to stick to it. This is one of the most effective ways to get what you want without busting your bank account.

Upgrading your kitchen soon? Keep these countertop tips in mind and be surprised at how easily you can find the right one for your home.

How Much Should You Pay for a Security Door Installation?

metal security doorU.S. homeowners who plan to install a security door should expect to spend an average of $1,400, although some may only pay as low as $600 or up to $4,600.

If you want to put decorative security doors at home, according to Liberty Home Products, the cost of doing so will depend on certain factors such as labor and materials. The addition of sensor technology also affects the overall price.

Types of Security Doors

There are different types of security door for each part of the house. A sliding one, for instance, is commonly used on the patio. This can cost between $300 and $1,000. You will have to spend more if you wish to use larger glass pieces.

Doors as a storm barrier also cost at least $300, but some are worth up to $3,000. In terms of material, wrought iron doors are the most expensive at $4,000 on average, while steel-encased hardwood usually costs $3,000. The high prices cause many homeowners to choose steel, which is more affordable at a price range of $300 to $700 yet equally durable.

Security System

Most doors can now be connected to your home alarm system through sensors, so think about compatibility when planning to buy a new one. The standard sensors at home normally use two sets with one attached to the door itself, while the other is installed into the frame.

Sensors can function on batteries that no longer requires the installation of wires connected to the alarm system. However, you need to check the battery regularly for signs of low power at least every week. Wired sensors are an alternative if you don’t want periodic inspections, although this takes more time for installation.

When choosing a professional to install a security door, consult with a service provider who offers a variety of products for better selection. How much are you willing to spend on the safety of your home?