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5 Green Ideas For Your New Home

Posted by on Nov 28, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 5 Green Ideas For Your New Home

Building a custom home gives you the opportunity to make environmentally friendly choices in materials and design. If you want a green home, your first step is to work with a builder that shares this goal. The next step is to integrate a few of the following ideas into your design. Idea #1: Alternative energy One of the main points of consumption in the modern home is electricity. You can help green your energy use by taking your home partially or fully off-grid. Eco-friendly energy options include solar and wind. You can have solar panels included in the design of your roof, or even have a small rooftop wind turbine installed. Idea #2: Passive solar design A passive solar home is designed so that it absorbs the heat from the sun during the winter months to minimize energy needs, often by utilizing a southward facing wall of windows along with brick or stonework that can absorb the heat. In the summer, large shade awnings or trees in full leaf will keep the home cool. Idea #3: Reclaimed materials Integrating as many reclaimed and recycled materials in the home as possible is a major green decision that gives you plenty of options. For example, you can purchase roofing materials, either metal or asphalt, made from recycled materials. Interior tiles, countertops, and fixtures are also easy to reclaim from other buildings. You can then use them as-is or alter them to better fit your space. Idea #4: Sustainable materials Sustainable materials are renewable and don’t have a major impact in production or later disposal. For example, bamboo is a more sustainable choice than slow-growing hardwood for floors and cabinets. Wool insulation is more sustainable than fiberglass. Recycled glass tiles are a better choice compared to glass tiles made from virgin materials. There are many places where you can switch to more sustainable materials without compromising on appearance or quality. Idea #5: Save water Another major place to go green in your new home is with your plumbing fixtures, including toilets, taps, showers, and washing machines. Opt for low-flow varieties to cut down on water waste. Instead of a tank water heater, opt for an on-demand system so you aren’t wasting water waiting for the warm flow. Even outdoor irrigation can be designed to save water. Washing machines, dishwashers, and other water-using appliances are also available in low water usage models. For more help, contact a new home builder, like one from Cristo Homes, in your...

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Troubleshooting Your Residential Well Pump

Posted by on Nov 1, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Troubleshooting Your Residential Well Pump

Many residents throughout the United States rely on private wells to supply their homes with potable water. When these wells fail, access to fresh water can be significantly reduced. In order to ensure that your well functions properly, you need to know how to troubleshoot some common well problems. Here are three things to look into if your well suddenly stops producing water in the future. 1. Test the power supply to your well pump. Residential wells rely on a pump to move water from the well, through a pipe system, and into your home. These pumps need access to electricity in order to function properly. If your well suddenly stops producing a steady flow of water, you should begin troubleshooting the problem by checking the power supply to your pump. Make sure that a power surge or sudden blackout hasn’t tripped the circuit connected to your pump by switching the circuit off and then turning it back on again. If you can verify that your pump is receiving adequate power, then move on to the next phase of the troubleshooting process. 2. Check the pressure switch. Most residential wells are equipped with a pressure switch that works to regulate the amount of water being delivered into your home by the well’s pump. When the pressure switch senses too much water moving through the pump, it will automatically shut down the pump and you will not receive water in your home. This helps to prevent a continual supply of water in the event a pipe bursts or there is a leak in the system. Try resetting your pump’s pressure switch to see if the water flow is restored. If the pressure switch continues to activate, you likely have a leak or your pump needs to be repaired. 3. Check the depth of your well’s pump. If you well is serviced by a submersible pump, then it’s important that you check the depth of the pump when you experience a sudden lack of water. If the water level drops below the pump’s level, air will begin to be sucked into the pipe lines. This could cause serious damage to your well pump, so the pump will shut itself off to avoid mechanical failure. Lowering the pump until it is fully submerged again will eliminate any flow problems caused by air in your pump. Knowing how to troubleshoot your residential well pump will help you maintain constant access to fresh water in the future. For more assistance, contact a company like Modern Pump &...

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3 Tips For Metal Recycling

Posted by on Sep 2, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Tips For Metal Recycling

When it comes to metal recycling, you need to be aware that this is incredibly advantageous in helping the environment, while also giving you the opportunity to make a little bit of money in the process. However, if you are going to get into scrap metal recycling, there are some crucial tips that you will need to keep in mind. Read these tips below and put them into action as you acquire scrap metal and recycle it accordingly. Understand The Metals That You Are Recycling As you look into scrap metal recycling, it pays to get a firm understanding of the various types of scrap metal that you can find. In terms of lucrative returns, copper is most definitely a hot commodity. The reason that copper is so valuable is that it is the go to metal for plumbing, piping, electricity, gutters and other building infrastructure. Brass fetches the second highest value, as it is often used in bathroom fixtures and lighting fixtures. Aluminum and steel are also quality scrap metals that can fetch some value when you turn it over to a reputable recycling company. These recycling contractors will help guide you through the value of each metal, so you will understand the market a little more and know what to expect. Find A Reputable Scrap Metal Recycling Center Perhaps the most important piece when getting into scrap metal recycling is finding a reputable scrap metal recycling company. These companies will allow you to bring them large quantities of these metals and will give you fair value. It is critically important that you research scrap metal companies to be sure that they are credibly licensed and in high standing with the Better Business Bureau and within your local municipality. Finding the best scrap metal dealer will allow you to have peace of mind during the process. Learn To Negotiate Compensation For Your Metal The best thing you can do when recycling scrap metal on a regular basis is negotiate. The more metal you have to offer, the more money you can expect to receive in return. Dealing in bulk gives you far more leverage and can help you turn a profit for your efforts. Be sure to have working relationships with multiple metal dealers and recycling centers in your area to be sure you can price match and find the fairest of value for your scrap metal. For more information, contact Sunwest Metals Inc or a similar...

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4 Extra Charges to Ask About When Getting a Painting Estimate

Posted by on Sep 2, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Extra Charges to Ask About When Getting a Painting Estimate

When you decide to hire a company that provides interior painting services to paint your home, it is a good idea to get a few estimates. You should get in-home estimates and discuss your preferences as thoroughly as possible so your contractor can give you an accurate estimate. It is also important that you are clear on what your estimate includes. A large discrepancy between estimates can mean that one contractor has included the price of certain extras in their estimate while another has not. Below are four extra services you should ask about.  Moving Furniture  Some painters include the cost of moving furniture and covering stationary items in their standard pricing. However, most painters will have an extra fee if they have to move extra-heavy furniture. If you do not plan on moving your furniture out of the rooms being painted, make sure your painter knows so they can include the cost of moving it in their estimate.  Prepping the Surface The quality of a paint job depends on the quality of the wall preparation. All walls should be clean and dry before they are painted. Cracks should be repaired, and drywall should be replaced if necessary. Rough patches should be sanded. You should be aware if your painter includes these prep services in their standard quotes or if you will be expected to complete preparations before your painting crew arrives.  High Ceilings Most painting contractors charge per square foot. However, if you have tall ceilings, the price per square foot may go up for the taller sections of the room. This is because specialized equipment may be needed, and the labor can be more intensive. If you are getting a quote over the phone or online, make sure you give the room dimensions to your contractor as opposed to simply telling them the square footage that you need painted.  Painting Crown Molding or Baseboards Painting intricate features such as crown molding or baseboards takes significantly more time than painting a flat wall. Such a job will involve more taping and more use of a brush instead of rollers. For this reason, these features often increase the overall cost of the project.  When you are comparing interior painting quotes, it is important to make sure that you are comparing similar services. Good communication and an in-home quote are vital. This way, you will be able to hire a cost-effective team without any unexpected charges at the end of the...

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Answering A Couple Of Routine Questions About Upgrading To Fiberglass Doors

Posted by on Sep 2, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Answering A Couple Of Routine Questions About Upgrading To Fiberglass Doors

Upgrading the doors to your home can provide your house with both aesthetic and security improvements. Unfortunately, there are many people that may not be very informed about their options when it concerns the types of materials that they can use for their new doors. In particular, it can be common for homeowners to be fairly uninformed about fiberglass doors, and if this is the case for you, learning the following questions and answers concerning this door option may help you to make the best choice for your home’s needs. Are There Benefits To Choosing Fiberglass Over Wood Doors? Wood is one of the more popular materials used in the creation of doors. However, it can be prone to some problems that will require regular care to avoid. For example, rot is a particularly common issue for wood doors, and you will want to regularly apply a sealant to the door’s exterior in order to prevent this problem. Also, you will need to regularly clean the door to prevent moss, molds, and algae from discoloring the wood. Fiberglass is resistant to these problems, which can make it ideal for those that are wanting a low-maintenance option for their doors. Additionally, fiberglass doors are often more resistant to damage, which can make them superior during times of strong storms. Should You Install Your Doors Without Professional Help? Unfortunately, there are some homeowners that may make the mistake of assuming that installing their new doors will be extremely inconvenient. However, it should be noted that this upgrade can often be completed in a rather quick manner by a trained professional. Sadly, there are some homeowners that may attempt to save money by performing this upgrade without professional help. If the door frame is not perfectly fitted to the home, it is possible for drafts, moisture, and insects to get into the home. Furthermore, there are many insurance policies that will not cover damages that stem from unlicensed upgrades to the home, which can inhibit your ability to file future insurance claims for your property. For these reasons, you should always leave this work to trained professionals. Upgrading to fiberglass doors can be a great option for homeowners that are wanting to improve the security and appearance of their homes while lowering the maintenance needs. By appreciating the various benefits that come from upgrading to fiberglass doors and the importance of only allowing this work to be done by trained professionals, you will find that making the best choice for your home’s needs will be...

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Creating A Sprinkler System For A Home That Gets Water From A Well

Posted by on Aug 16, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Creating A Sprinkler System For A Home That Gets Water From A Well

If you have a well pump, and you plan to irrigate your yard with an automated sprinkler system, your task becomes slightly more complicated than installing a sprinkler system in a home that gets its water from a municipal water supply. You have to consider the level of water in your aquifer, the size of your pumps, and the pressure you are able to achieve. Once you know these values, you can then get started on the task of designing your sprinkler system.  Water Level In some areas, it is possible to pump water out of your aquifer faster than the aquifer can fill up. If you are doing normal household tasks, this should not be a problem, but if you are going to be running a sprinkler system for an hour or more, you could deplete the aquifer. If the water level falls below the depth of your well, your pump could run dry, which can burn up the motor. Thus, you need to make sure that your well is deep enough that depleting the aquifer is not a concern. You may also have to cut back on watering times. Pump Size In general, the larger your pump is, the further it can push water and the larger the volume of water it can pump at a time. Both of these factors will affect how large you can build your system and how many sprinkler heads you can put on each zone. In order to limit cost, you want to put as many heads as possible on each zone because this will limit the number of sprinkler valves you have to buy.  If you can’t pump water to the far reaches of your property, you may not be able to have lawn to the edge of your property and will have to come up with another plan for landscaping the edges. Pressure Sprinkler heads are designed to run in a certain range of pressure. You may need to adjust the pressure valve at your pressure tank to make sure that you are able to produce enough pressure to power your sprinkler heads. You also want to make sure that you are able to keep your pump on all or most of the time that your sprinklers are on so that it is not constantly cycling on and off.  If you are having a hard time figuring out aquifer level, pump size, and pressure settings, you should talk to the company that put in your pump and/or a sprinkler company to see if they can help with your well water...

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3 Tips For Organizing Your Tack Room

Posted by on Jul 28, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Tips For Organizing Your Tack Room

You probably keep all of your horsey essentials in your horse barn and tack room, and you probably know how easy it can be for everything to become a tangle of bridles, saddles, halters, grooming supplies and other horse supplies. Luckily, these three helpful tips can make it easier for you to maintain a clean, efficient and organized tack room. 1. Utilize Your Wall Space If you aren’t taking advantage of the wall space in your tack room, you are missing out on a great opportunity for storage. Use command hooks to hang up halters, bridles, lead lines and other similar items — this helps prevent them from getting tangled up with one another and helps you avoid taking up valuable floor space that could be better used for items that can’t be hung up. 2. Repurpose Items Rather Than Buying New If you have ever looked in the horse supply catalogs or in your local tack shop for tack room organization supplies, you might have been shocked by the cost of these items. However, there is really no reason to spend extra money on specialized items that will only get dusty and dirty anyway. Instead, repurpose other items, including items that you might have in the barn already. Old feed buckets can be used for sorting and storing bits, and they also make great individual containers for horse grooming supplies — just keep each horse’s brushes and other supplies in a separate bucket, then grab the bucket and carry it with you when it’s grooming time. Plastic storage containers, supplement buckets and more can all be repurposed for storage and organization in a tack room. 3. Make Sure That Everything is Washable Sure, you might have seen some really attractive organization ideas online, but you have to make sure that they are realistic. No matter how careful you are, items in the tack room are sure to get dirty over time, and you want to be able to clean them. This means that you should steer toward storage items that are made of wood, plastic or metal rather than those that are made of canvas or cloth. You want to be able to easily wipe things down when it’s time to clean up the tack room. Keeping an organized tack room can be a challenge, especially when you feel as if you are drowning in horse stuff. However, if you follow these tips, you can make it easier to organize your tack room...

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Are There Benefits To Having A Backup Generator?

Posted by on Jun 27, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Are There Benefits To Having A Backup Generator?

Living in an area where you experience frequent power outages or are dependent on a constant power source such as for an elderly person or someone with mobility issues in your home, a backup generator might be a good investment for you. A standby generator will automatically provide your home with electricity until you can repair the problem that caused the outage. Appliances Continue Function  Depending on the strength of your generator, basic systems can remain functional. Big items including computers, televisions, heating and cooling units, and other household appliances will require a powerful generator. The level of comfort and safety in a home can be maintained with a good generator. Many individuals need life-saving devices such as oxygen machines that require electricity to remain functional. Hospitals, for example, rely on backup generators in the event of a power outage to keep a lot of people alive. Save Money on Losses and Repairs You can save money on spoiled food which could result in many dollars lost that you may not be able to replace immediately. If it is winter time, you won’t need to worry about expensive repairs if the pipes freeze. If a sump pump is needed in the basement, you won’t have to be concerned about the money needed to restore and replace items from water damage because a generator keeps your systems working correctly in an outage. No Need to Leave Home A hotel stay can be avoided as well as the risk of the home being vandalized if it became necessary to leave because of the power outage. Burglars will be less tempted to raid your home if you don’t need leave the premises. You don’t have to run unsafe power cords to neighbor’s homes if they have power because you will be prepared. Insurance Credits Even though a backup generator is expensive to install, many insurance companies offer homeowners a loss mitigation credit as an incentive plan. This special discount is provided because the generator can reduce damages and losses during or after inclement weather conditions. These are all important benefits you can achieve when you purchase a backup generator for your home. You and your family won’t need to worry when hazardous conditions develop in your area because you have a backup plan. The power is sent directly to the electrical panel and can run on propane or natural gas. The peace of mind is worth the additional expense when it comes to the safety and comfort of your...

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Removing Tomato Sauce Stains From A Marble Countertop

Posted by on Jun 27, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Removing Tomato Sauce Stains From A Marble Countertop

Marble is a popular material for use in kitchens due to its shimmering and patterned surface. However, marble is a porous material, and spills can easily seep into the surface. Some substances can actually stain and etch the rock. This happens when an acidic food, like tomato sauce, comes into contact with the stone. If you have recently spilled the sauce, then keep reading to learn how to remove the stain. Create a Poultice To remove the tomato sauce, you will need to create a poultice. A poultice is a thick cleaning paste that absorbs and cleans stains out of surfaces. To get rid of an organic stain, you can use hydrogen peroxide as your cleaning agent. Hydrogen peroxide will break down the bonds within the food item so the absorbing material can suck up the stain. You can make a poultice out of a variety of powders that include diatomaceous earth, baking soda, talc, plaster, or fuller’s earth. Place about two tablespoons of the powder in a small dish and add one tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide. Mix the ingredients and add more powder until the poultice is the same consistency as peanut butter. Place a generous amount of the poultice on the stain and use tin foil, plastic wrap, or a paper towel over the poultice. Allow the cleaning solution to work for a full day. You should start to see the poultice turning a red or pink color as the tomato sauce is pulled from the pores of the marble. Wipe away the poultice after one day. Reapply the cleaner if you still see the stain. Polish The Marble You will still be left with a small area along the marble that appears etched. To remove the etching, you can polish the area. One of the easiest ways to do this is to wet sand the marble. Use a piece of fine grit sandpaper. To minimize scratches and the appearance of an uneven surface, purchase a piece of 400 grit sandpaper. Place some water in a spray bottle. Spray the etched area and use your sandpaper to gently sand the area for about 30 seconds. Wipe the area with a microfiber cloth. Keep wetting and sanding until the surface appears smooth. When you are done sanding, work with a professional to have a sealer placed over the marble. Sealers will fill in the pores on the surface of the marble so spills cannot seep into the stone. When picking out a sealer, opt for a water-based variety. These products are often VOC free, and this will mean that the counters will be food safe.  For more information, contact a marble cleaning company in your...

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Three Frequent Questions About Owning Garage Doors Answered

Posted by on Jun 7, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Three Frequent Questions About Owning Garage Doors Answered

Automatic garage doors can be an excellent addition to almost any home. While these doors are fairly common, you may not have much experience with them if you are a new homeowner. As a result, you may find it difficult to make choices about choosing to have one of these door systems installed. If this is something you are struggling with, you might find the following garage door questions and answers useful. Does It Matter What Type Of Garage Door You Install? When you are choosing your garage door, it may be tempting to simply go for the option with the lowest price. Unfortunately, this can prove to be an expensive decision as traditional garage doors can be a source of energy inefficiency. Rather, you may want to pay the additional cost to opt for garage doors that are insulated. These doors will be less drafty, which can help to drastically reduce heat loss and gain. Will Your Home’s Garage Doors Function When The Power Fails? Power outages can be a common problem during stormy weather, and some homeowners may make the assumption that garage doors will not work when the power is out. Luckily, these systems are usually designed with a battery backup that can provide enough power to keep the door functioning. Once the electricity is restored, the batteries will start to recharge so that they can be ready for the next outage. How Do You Care For A Garage Door? To help reduce the risks of your garage door suffering mechanical issues, it is vital for you to follow the recommended maintenance guidelines for your door. These guidelines will often include checking the lubrication each month, dusting the moving parts of the garage door and having the system professionally serviced. When a garage door is being professionally serviced, the technician will inspect the motor that raises and lowers the door to make sure that it is free of wear and tear that could lead to performance issues. Additionally, they will inspect the primary torsion spring. When this spring encounters problems that cause it to become warped or snap, it can cause the garage door to be unable to open. When the spring is inspected by a technician, they will be able to determine whether it is starting to suffer extensive wear and tear that could make it more susceptible to warping or breaking. If this is the case, these professionals can quickly and safely replace the spring so as to avoid these potential...

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