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Category Archives: Home Improvement

Canvas For Awning

Between their advantages we have the following ones:

  • It’s resistant to the UV rays
  • Allows any color
  • They possess some protection coatings, as the following:
    • Not to allow the fire propagation
    • With blockade against UV rays (with great resistance against the effects of the ultraviolet rays that discolour along the time)
    • Fungicides (addictive that avoid the formation of mould and stains)
    • Non oxidizer, to avoid the appearance of iron stains
    • Addictive to avoid negative effects to the aesthetics and the brightness, that could damage the coating and to reduce the useful life of the canvas)
    • A varnish layer or lacquer in the coating (the varnish is not only designated for protection of the canvas from the UV rays, but also improves the self-cleaning characteristics; one of the used material for that is the Tedlar).

If you choose the canvas of your awning taking the above suggestions, certainly you will have an awning with excellent useful life, allowing the change of the canvas to be in a much larger period than the standard one.

To improve the useful life of the canvas of your awning, we suggested that the canvas cleaning to be in every 3 or 4 weeks and using a neutral detergent.

Those two decisions

  • A good choice of the canvas type
  • Cleaning of the awning at each 3 or 4 weeks

will give you a very larger useful life for your awning.

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Aluminum Flagpoles

Aluminum flagpoles can be rigged with either an external or internal halyard system.

External systems have the rope and other rigging on the outside of the pole. This is a tried and true system, but prone to vandalism and sometimes noisy when the wind blows.

Internal systems keep the equipment on the inside where it is safe and quiet; the halyard is accessed through a hatch near the base of the pole. This is a more expensive option.

Aluminum flagpoles that are inground must be firmly rooted in a groundsleeve and concrete foundation to stay aloft. Be sure that at least ten percent of the pole’s length is underground, and that your flag is no longer than forty percent of the pole height.

If you buy a telescoping aluminum flagpole, be sure that the sections lock into place, rather than just wedge together. This will ensure stability in the event of high winds.

Injection Waterproofing

In most foundation cracks, a polyurethane injection can seal the opening. In some smaller cracks it may be apparent that a sealant was used because it may be difficult to evenly inject the compound. Single caulking style cartridges and the dual side-by-side cartridge systems are the types of injection waterproofing compounds available for retail purchase. Both of these are manually injected and easy to pump.

When using an injection waterproofing method, it is important to keep the area dry. Temporarily block any flowing water to the area, and clean and dry the area as needed. Experts say that in the case of water flowing through a hole, you can temporarily caulk the hole with candle wax, modeling clay or plumbers’ putty. If the cracks are in narrow or hard-to-reach places, you can use a flexible hose attached to the injector nozzle.

Whatever waterproofing system your leakage problem requires, be sure to do your research. If you choose to make this a do-it-yourself project, make sure you know where your leaks are coming from and the proper method to repair them. When purchasing waterproofing materials you should make sure you are buying the appropriate product for your needs. The National Association of Waterproofing and Structural Repair Contractors (NAWSRC) has tons of information on waterproofing. Whether or not you decide to hire a contractor, this organization can help you from beginning to end.

Info of Log Home Basics

There are two categories of log homes: handcrafted and milled log homes. Initially, you may not realize what you are looking at, but there are some basic guidelines that will clarify the differences. A handcrafted log home is just that; the logs are peeled by hand, notched by hand, and in many cases, each log is scribed to fit exactly on top of another log. In many handcrafted homes, the logs are stacked alternately, so the large end of a log is stacked on top of the tapered end of the log beneath. A milled log home will feature logs that are uniform in shape, and the logs will be cut to fit together, such as with a tongue-and-groove or Swedish cope, so that they stack easily and evenly. There is a big price difference between a handcrafted and a milled log home. This is mostly because of the intense labor required to construct a handcrafted home, and because of the larger diameter logs that are normally used. The vast majority of homes built today are milled log homes.

If you see a log home with round logs and chinking, that is a first indication that this is could be a handcrafted log home. Chinking was historically a mortar-like material that filled the gaps between the logs. Modern science has created an acrylic compound that expands and contracts with the wood; it is applied as a wide white stripe. If a handcrafted log is not scribed, then chinking is a must because the logs leave gaps along their length. Some people do use chinking as a design feature even when it’s not necessary, though for the most part milled log homes are not chinked.

The characteristic corner of your log home will speak volumes to the person who knows how to read it. The profile and joinery system of the log will usually be reflected on the ends. For instance, on a handcrafted log home you’ll see the different diameters of the stacked logs. To stack them, these corners will be notched so that each log sits directly on the log below it (like a Lincoln Logs(TM) toy). A milled log that is saddle-notched will stack the same way (of course, every log will look exactly the same). Because saddle-notched logs are staggered, course to course, the log ends will be visible on the interior corners of the house as well as the exterior. This gives a very rustic look. A butt-and-pass corner gives you an end where there is a space between every other log. This is because one log butts up against the intersecting log, which runs past it. These logs are all laid on the same course, so that with the interior corners of your home, the logs will come to a squared edge.

On milled logs, there are many joinery systems to choose from. Today, the most popular joinery is called a “Swedish cope”. This is where each log is scooped out to fit snugly on the curve of the log beneath. It gives a very smooth and natural look. Another joinery system is the tongue-and-groove, or double tongue-and-groove depending on the manufacturer. The tongues are cut into the top of the log and corresponding grooves at the bottom. These create a tight fit and stack easily. A more traditional, early American notch is called the dove-tail, which is a mortise and tenon notch usually cut into squared timbers. There are many other corner systems available, but these are the most commonly used.

The shape, or profile of your log is another feature which will help you decide what kind of package to purchase. Many people prefer a “D” log, which is round on the outside and flat on the inside. This gives you a horizontal wood-paneling look, and is easy to hang pictures on. Others prefer a round log, which is a little more rustic and presents many challenges – such as how to join the logs to the sheetrock. Squared timbers, which give a more Appalachian look to the home, tend to be tall and fairly narrow, and are often grooved for the application of chinking.
The average milled log home will use pine logs in 6″ and 8″ diameters. You can also find them in 10″ and 12″ diameters. Anything larger than 15″ will probably roll you over to a handcrafted home. Cedar logs are an upgrade, and can be found in 6″, 8″ and occasionally 10″ diameters. Some manufacturers more rarely use oak, cypress, fir, hemlock, larch, poplar, spruce, and walnut. These rarer woods will be a price upgrade. Because of the superior log care products on the market today that protect all the logs effectively, the wood species largely becomes a matter of personal taste. The best rule of thumb when choosing log species is to stay with a wood that is native to your area. The logs will adapt to the environment more comfortably.

Home Ready To Sell

When looking at your house, the thing you need to keep repeating to yourself is that “first impressions are lasting impressions.” This couldn’t be truer when it comes to selling real estate.

However, this doesn’t mean that you should take on a major renovation project just so that you can sell your property. Remember, there are no guarantees that you would recover the costs of an enormous overhaul.

Instead, take a more conservative approach, and have a look at the different cosmetic improvements that can be made for an overall improvement. These can include things such as cleaning, painting, refinishing, and other such efforts. These are the projects that don’t require all that much capital, and yet they make an immeasurable improvement to the overall look of your home.

Before you take on any fix-up-for-sale projects, take on the mindset that you are sprucing up your home in order to sell it. Don’t think of it as fixing it up for someone else. You’re trying to create more of an appealing look than you are a perfect home.

If you fix up the house with a certain person in mind, you’re limiting your market. Limiting your market will usually mean a slower sale, and a lower selling price.

So instead of tackling a whole mess of huge projects, just focus on making the home attractive, clean, presentable, and well maintained. Let the new owners do their own customizations.

Wall Mural Kits

Wall mural kits have made it even easier to create a beautiful wall mural. Wall mural kits exist for almost any type of mural, big or small. The smallest kits contain stencils for room accents, like butterflies, bugs, flowers, or stars. These kits provide an easy introduction into creating wall murals because they are small and don’t require much planning. Themed wall mural kits, each with several stencils, start at around $30. Border wall mural kits are another easy way to decorate a room. They can accent furniture or woodwork and look cute painted on children’s furniture. Most border kits cost around $5.

You can also buy large wall mural kits. These kits will help you paint a mural on one large wall. The murals are usually around eight by five feet. Children’s wall mural kits are particular popular. You can find stencils with construction equipment, cowboys, castles, dance, garden, and animal themes, for instance. Large wall mural kits cost around $30. Many of the large wall mural kits also have matching accessory kits, like a wall border or dresser knobs.

Parents wave how much their children love the murals they created using wall mural kits. Adult wall mural kits are a bit harder to find and more difficult to do, for the most part. Children’s wall murals can look like cartoons, but adult wall murals are generally subtler and take more artistic talent. You can, however, borrow aspects of children’s wall mural kits for in your own home, or use the kits to create a rustic, homey feel.

Disadvantages of Wood Siding

Maintenance

One of the most common complaints about wood siding is the level of maintenance it requires. Siding like vinyl and fiber cement are low maintenance, and will last for years to come. However, wood is porous, making it more vulnerable to the outdoor elements, especially moisture. Mold, mildew, wood rot, and more are common issues associated with moisture problems. This means it must be stained and painted at all times, routinely re-sealed and weather-proofed, and cleaned on a more frequent basis. Not only is this level of maintenance difficult to keep up with, it can be costly and time-consuming too. This is something to think about, especially if you are not in a position to provide the maintenance yourself, nor hire a professional company to provide it for you.

Aesthetics

Another common issue with wood siding is warping and swelling, which is caused by moisture absorption. Once the panels dry out again, they do not return to their original shape. This leads to gaps, cracks, energy loss, pest infestations, and more. Not only does this affect the overall aesthetics of a property, it will cost you in the end since defective panels and boards will need to be replaced to ensure the structural integrity of a home or building. In serious cases, it can also increase home energy bills.

Durability

Durability and longevity are common concerns when it comes to wooden siding. Because wood is a natural element that is porous and susceptible to moisture absorption, it is always at risk of wood rot and dampening. Overtime, this can cause wood to soften and deteriorate, which leads to all sorts of structural and aesthetic problems. And in the end, all of these problems require money, time, and construction to resolve. This is especially true for wood rot that results in mold and mildew outbreaks.

Winterize Your Home

Start Winterizing Your Home by Sealing Leaks

One of the best ways to begin to winterize your home is to actually check the exterior of your house for cracks. A crack along the outside of your home lets heat out, making it more difficult to keep your house warm. Even houses with siding around the outside could have cracks along the fireplace, or even under the eaves. Windows and doors are the most popular areas for cracks.

Once you’ve located the problem areas, you can fill the cracks with a caulking compound. Apply a generous amount of caulking directly into the cracks and smooth the caulking out with your finger or a tool. Be sure to seal the crack completely as you smooth out the caulking.

Winterizing your Home by Protecting your Pipes

Pipes that go unprotected can freeze and burst with time. Broken pipes can cost thousands of dollars to replace. Avoid unnecessary costs by caring for your pipes properly in cold weather.

To start, identify any water hoses that may be hooked up. These hoses that are filled with water should be removed and emptied and put away during the freezing weather.

Next, outside faucets or piping can be protected from cold weather with heat tape. You can purchase heat tape from any local hardware store. Wrap the tape around exposed outdoor pipes and this should be enough to keep your faucets from freezing. If you have an outdoor pump system, even if it’s in a shed, it could still freeze up and cause problems if the weather is well below freezing. Use a heat lamp in the late evening hours to prevent freezing.

Winterizing Your Home with Insulation

Finally, if your house is lacking proper insulation, you could save hundreds of dollars on heating costs by getting it installed. Contact a professional installer and get an estimate for putting in insulation or get an evaluation if you don’t know if you need insulation.
Even if your home does have insulation, have it checked for any damage caused by leaks.

Insulation is inexpensive to have installed. You can do it yourself and save money by going to your local hardware store and getting the supplies.

Don’t forget to check the attic space for proper insulation. Many homebuilders may skip putting insulation in the roof to save on building costs, but this form of additional insulation significantly reduces heat releasing through the attic.

Quality Interior Shutter

Shutters are built from a quality material

Wood is the most preferable material for building shutters, and not all woods are made alike. Basswood is a superior wood because it is among the straightest of hardwoods with a fine uniform texture and indistinct grain. It can be sanded and stained to a smooth finish, and it is lightweight yet very strong.

Shutters are purchased from reliable company

You should research the company from which you plan to purchase your shutters. They need to be a reputable, knowledgeable, support oriented, and accessible. We recommend you test their knowledge by asking questions. Check out their credibility with an organization such as the Better Business Bureau, and check to see if they have a list of customer comments or references. The company needs to be prepared to communicate all of the necessary information to you about purchasing interior shutters. They need to have a staff that is experienced and available for technical questions. It is frustrating when the only knowledgeable person is always “in the field.”

Shutters are mortised for hinges

Mortised hinges are important to achieve a tight fit within your window opening. Without a mortised panel, a gap appears on the hanging side that allows light to break between the shutter panel and the window jamb. It should not be necessary to mortise the window jamb.

Shutters are rabbeted stiles between panels

Rabbeted stiles between shutter panels reduces light breaks between panels. A significant gap is created in between panels that are simply butted up against one another.

View a shutter sample

The shutter company should be able to supply you with a finished sample shutter. This way you can view the quality of construction and finish first-hand. It is beneficial for you also to hold the shutter in the window to visualize how the shutters will attach and look in your house.

Shutters should have quality finish

A quality paint or stain finish is essential to the overall satisfaction with your shutter purchase. A paint finish should be smooth, thick, and complete. You should be unable to feel the wood grain and it should show through the paint. A stain finish should be even with a proper top protective coat.

Info about Warm up with Firewood

Ash, Oak, Beech, Birch, Hickory and Hard Maple are by far the best types of wood to use. They each produce a high amount of heat, which is one of the most important considerations. Each of these species burn extremely well, and they are all relatively easy to split. Another feature of these types is that they produce very little heavy smoke and very few sparks.

Aside from the species mentioned above, Soft Maple, Black Cherry, and Yellow Pine are the next best to use. The Soft Maple and Black Cherry each produce a decent amount of heat, but they both burn well and are easy to split. They also produce a low amount of heavy smoke and sparks. Yellow Pine is also quite a decent wood to use. The only significant drawback with Pine is that it tends to smoke a lot, and it may not be ideal for burning inside your home.

Elm, Sweetgum, Basswood, Poplar, and White Pine are all decent species. If you are unable to get any of the wood mentioned above, these will work just fine. None of them produce an impressive amount of heat, but in certain cases some heat is better than none. These species also produce more smoke and sparks than the aforementioned. The Elm and Sweetgum tend not to burn very well, and they are often difficult to split. These woods should be used when you have no other choices available to you.

As is the case with any heating system, your wood-burning stove should be installed by a professional. It must be checked and maintained annually, along with your chimney. Remember to always make safety a priority, and to keep your fireplace tools and fire extinguisher close by in case of an emergency.