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By: OUTDOOR PATIO EMPORIUM | Created 10/31/2018

Patio furniture brings comfort and function to your outdoor spaces. With a spacious table and easy to use, comfortable chairs a basic brick patio is transformed into a sensory rich dining destination.

Don't overlook the outdoor living opportunities on balconies and in pocket gardens. When complemented with the right patio furniture, these petite garden getaways will beckon you outside time and again.

Check out the following tips for choosing the best patio furniture for your space. Thoughtful planning will ensure that your outdoor living space is inviting for years to come.

Make a List

Begin by thinking about how you would like your outdoor space to function. Make a list of the many things you would like to do in the space and use it as a guide to determine what type of furniture is necessary. If the primary function of your patio is to host casual evening cocktails, there is no need for a dining table. Opt for ample comfortable seating, several side tables, and a fire pit.

Take a Seat

Take a seat before you buy. Comfortable patio furniture, just like interior furniture, will be used regularly as opposed to uninviting patio furniture, which might have good looks but not-so-good comfort.

Go for Easy Care

Reserve the bulk of your garden side hours for enjoying your space as opposed to maintaining furniture when you purchase easy-care patio furniture. Most metal, teak, cedar, and all-weather wicker pieces are unfazed by whatever nature throws their way. Furniture made using these forgiving materials will look wonderful for years.

Consider Storage

Add years to the life of your patio furniture by storing it in a protected location, such as a garage or basement during the off season. Even the toughest furniture, such as teak chairs or a wrought-iron settee, will last longer if it is placed in storage when not in use. If your storage space is limited, look for patio furniture that folds or is easily taken apart for compact storage.

Color Smart

When purchasing patio furniture, you're not limited to the natural tones of wood; the black, white, and beige of wicker; or metal pieces. Colorful finishes abound in the world of outdoor furniture. For stylish longevity, reserve bold splashes of color for cushions and accent pieces.

Invest in Quality

Plastic resin chairs or side tables look great on the shelf and will keep their good looks for a year or two out in the sun, but in time they will become brittle and lose their vibrant coloring. The same is true for some wood products and wicker pieces. Shop with care, checking consumer reports and reviews, before making a big purchase.

Look Underfoot

Ground patio furniture by placing it on an all weather rug. Textile advancements in recent years have brought many quick-drying outdoor rugs to the market. Soft underfoot and rich in texture, an outdoor rug will lend the comforts of indoors to the great outdoors. 

Search for Dual-Purpose Pieces

Look for hardworking furniture. An ottoman that doubles as extra seating for your next backyard bash and a simple bench that will stand alone or cozy up to an alfresco dining table are essential for frequently used outdoor spaces.

By: CLOSETS BY DESIGN PALM BEACH | Created 10/31/2018

Bookshelves are a necessity for a living room as they makes your room a better space to live. A room with the collection of books look messy, and it is very difficult to find the desired edition from an unorganized collection of the same. So, a bookshelf is a basic and must need for your home. You can keep the decorative pieces and add elegance to your space. It is very useful to control unwanted mess in your room.

Here are some of the basic benefits of bookshelves:

Space saver: Bookshelves are easily available in various sizes, styles and types. Some are placed against the wall, some are mounted on the wall, and some are placed at the corner of the room. These versatile pieces of furniture save the area and provide you extra space for other purposes. Some shelves fit under the stairs to offer you the great utilization of blank space. These types of an area are the perfect choice for the small apartment.

Easy to access: Bookshelves online are easy to access, easy to maintain and carry because of their flexible configuration. You can manage your collection in the racks according to your requirements. It will be easy to find the right edition anytime for you.

Great appeal: Many people wish to bring additional style in their space by placing the functional unit of furniture. Bookshelves give you a chance to collect your books inside a perfectly clean cabinet that will reflect your style. The cabinet of wood is the best option to give a traditional touch to the living room that can prevent your collection from moisture and dust. It will blend perfectly in any room and storage style.

Bookcases come in different sizes, designs, shapes and materials. You can easily choose the most suitable piece according to your home decor, styles and need.

Display your personality: These units provide the best and sufficient space to put your personality on display. You can share the items that reflect your interests and hobbies by choosing the perfect shelf to complement the living area and collectables.

With different types of shelves that are available in the market, you can easily narrow down your choice by selecting the colors and style in advance. You should consider the available space, amount of books you want to organize.

Here are some of the basic styles:

Corner Shelves

Ladder shelves

Tower cabinets

Wall mounted cabinets

Glass cabinets

  

A well-organized room is always incomplete without a bookshelf. You can choose the perfect shelf according to you, your space and book collection.

By: CLOSETS BY DESIGN WEST COAST | Created 10/31/2018

Bookshelves are a necessity for a living room as they makes your room a better space to live. A room with the collection of books look messy, and it is very difficult to find the desired edition from an unorganized collection of the same. So, a bookshelf is a basic and must need for your home. You can keep the decorative pieces and add elegance to your space. It is very useful to control unwanted mess in your room.

Here are some of the basic benefits of bookshelves:

Space saver: Bookshelves are easily available in various sizes, styles and types. Some are placed against the wall, some are mounted on the wall, and some are placed at the corner of the room. These versatile pieces of furniture save the area and provide you extra space for other purposes. Some shelves fit under the stairs to offer you the great utilization of blank space. These types of an area are the perfect choice for the small apartment.

Easy to access: Bookshelves online are easy to access, easy to maintain and carry because of their flexible configuration. You can manage your collection in the racks according to your requirements. It will be easy to find the right edition anytime for you.

Great appeal: Many people wish to bring additional style in their space by placing the functional unit of furniture. Bookshelves give you a chance to collect your books inside a perfectly clean cabinet that will reflect your style. The cabinet of wood is the best option to give a traditional touch to the living room that can prevent your collection from moisture and dust. It will blend perfectly in any room and storage style.

Bookcases come in different sizes, designs, shapes and materials. You can easily choose the most suitable piece according to your home decor, styles and need.

Display your personality: These units provide the best and sufficient space to put your personality on display. You can share the items that reflect your interests and hobbies by choosing the perfect shelf to complement the living area and collectables.

With different types of shelves that are available in the market, you can easily narrow down your choice by selecting the colors and style in advance. You should consider the available space, amount of books you want to organize.

Here are some of the basic styles:

Corner Shelves

Ladder shelves

Tower cabinets

Wall mounted cabinets

Glass cabinets

 

A well-organized room is always incomplete without a bookshelf. You can choose the perfect shelf according to you, your space and book collection.

By: OUTDOOR LIGHTING PERSPECTIVES | Created 10/31/2018

Highlighting the outside of your house with well-placed lights can make your house to look great at night, as well as during the day. It will emphasize, or even create architectural interest and provide the best lighting for the tasks that need to be performed.

Here are examples of outdoor lighting features and the right ways to use them:

Path lights. The perfect front yard begins with a stylish pathway that draws you in. Many path lights are designed to look good but not to effectively light up a path. A great way to keep path lights low to the ground is to add LED strip lights. For a more traditional look use path lights with domes hide bulbs from view and direct light downward. This will reduce glare and put light where your feet need them most, right on the path.

Step lights. Some step lights shine light in all directions, including into your eyes. This makes it harder to see the steps and therefore more dangerous. A shielded newel-post deck lights do a much better job at directing light down onto the stairs and not into your eyes. Even better, linear LED strip lights under stair treads push light down onto the steps and keep the focus in the right place.

Lanterns. Avoid clear glass and visible candle-shaped bulbs to help reduce glare. Go for frosted shades and aim the fixtures downward so extra light hits the floor. Also consider adding dimmers or use low-wattage bulbs to set a welcoming mood.

Pendants. Pendants above the door should  avoid bare bulbs completely or use low-wattage bulbs and dimmers. Use translucent glass in fixtures, such as milk glass or amber mica. A highly shielded fixture will also work, especially if it directs light downward.

Spotlights. Direct spotlights at your home’s features, like brickwork, molding and eaves. This will provide light that helps us feel secure without making our guests feel unwelcome.

 

There are many good reasons to pay close attention to the lighting used at the front of your house. Nobody wants to be greeted by darkness when they reach home and pretty lights can highlight certain features of your house or garden.

By: CENTRAL AIR SOLUTION | Created 10/31/2018

Air ducts in your home provide a very important function. They circulate the air from your heating and cooling system into and out of each room multiple times a day. The air cycling through your ducts is the same air that completely fills your living environment and it is the same air that you and your family breathe. As such, you want this air to be as clean as possible.

There are many benefits to having your air ducts professionally cleaned:

1. Creates a Cleaner Living Environment

Having your air ducts professionally cleaned reduces the dust that would otherwise circulate throughout your living space, landing on your furniture just about everywhere. Fortunately, a thorough air duct cleaning reduces the amount of interior cleaning and dusting necessary to maintain a hygienic home.

2. Reduces Allergens and Irritants

In addition to dust, air ducts frequently contain harmful contaminants and micro-organisms. These include pet dander, bacteria, pollen, mildew, mold spores, and similar toxins. People who suffer from allergies, asthma, and other respiratory problems are particularly sensitive to these airborne particles.

3. Helps Everyone Breathe Easier

Even if no one in your household suffers from chronic allergies or respiratory problems, cleaner air makes it easier for everyone to breathe. Even among the most healthy, dust and pollutants entering the nose and lungs can trigger sneezing and coughing, as well as sinus and bronchial congestion. Air duct cleaning creates a more comfortable environment and promotes well-being.

4. Removes Unpleasant Smells and Odors

Pets, household cleaning agents, paint fumes, mold, tobacco use and even food preparation all contribute to stale smells in the air ducts. Every time the furnace or air conditioner is running, these odors will repeatedly flow through the house. Even an accumulation of dust and dirt over the years can lead to a musty scent coming from the ductwork. A detailed cleaning of the air ducts removes all odor trapping particles, resulting in a fresher smelling home.

5. Improves Air Flow Efficiency

Ductwork and registers that have a heavy build-up of dust and grime can restrict the flow of air from the furnace and air conditioner. This means your system will have to work harder to heat or cool your home, resulting in a decreased level of efficiency. Conversely, a clean system will operate at peak efficiency and provide the most cost-effective performance.

By: PREMIUM PAINTERS | Created 10/31/2018

Here are a few tips to make your painting projects go smoother and faster while giving you a professional-looking finish that you'll be proud of. You'll also find ingenious tips that can cut your cleanup time in half and extend the life of your paint brushes.

1. Lap marks are those ugly stripes caused by uneven layers of paint buildup. They occur when you roll over paint that’s already partly dry. The key to avoiding lap marks is to maintain a “wet edge,” so each stroke of your roller overlaps the previous stroke before the paint can begin to dry.

To maintain a wet edge, start near a corner and run the roller up and down the full height of the wall, moving over slightly with each stroke. Move backward where necessary to even out thick spots or runs. Don’t let the roller become nearly dry; reload it often so that it’s always at least half loaded. Keep the open side of the roller frame facing the area that’s already painted. That puts less pressure on the open side of the roller, so you’re less likely to leave paint ridge.

2. Paint color may vary slightly from one can to the next. If you have to open a new can in the middle of a wall, the difference may be noticeable. Mixing the paints together eliminates the problem. It’s best to estimate the amount of paint you’ll need and mix it.

When coverage is difficult to estimate, add more rather than less. You can always pour the leftover back into cans. For large jobs, use the bucket and a roller screen rather than a roller tray. It’s much faster to load your roller with the screen than to use a roller pan. Simply dunk the roller into the paint bucket, then roll it along the screen until it stops dripping.

3. Once paint is dry, you can’t just pull the tape off the trim. Paint forms a film between the wall and the tape, and removing the tape tears pieces of dried paint off the wall. So before pulling off the tape, cut it loose.

Wait for the paint to completely dry, at least 24 hours, then use a sharp utility knife or box cutter knife to slice through the film. Start in an inconspicuous area to make sure the paint is hard enough to slice cleanly. If you cut the paint while it’s still gummy, you’ll make a mess. As you cut the paint, pull up the tape at a 45-degree angle.

4. Pros usually follow a certain order when painting a room. They paint the trim first, then the ceiling, then the walls. That’s because it’s easier and faster to tape off the trim than to tape off the walls.

When painting the trim, you don’t have to be neat. Just concentrate on getting a smooth finish on the wood. Don’t worry if the trim paint gets onto the walls. You’ll cover it later when painting the walls. Once the trim is completely painted and dry (at least 24 hours), tape it off, then paint the ceiling, then the walls.

5. If you paint over dirty, oily surfaces, the paint will easily chip or peel off. So before painting, clean grimy areas with a deglosser or heavy-duty cleaner intended for prepaint cleaning. They work well to clean painted, varnished or enameled surfaces to improve the adhesion of the new paint. They’re ideal for cleaning greasy or oily areas like kitchen and bathroom walls and removing hand marks around light switches and doorknobs.

Wipe on the cleaner in a circular motion using a lint-free cloth or abrasive pad. Start at the bottom and work up. After the surface is clean, fill in any nicks and holes, then sand them smooth before painting. The cleaners are available at paint stores and home centers. Be sure to wear rubber gloves and eye protection.

6. Corners and areas next to trim that are painted only with a brush have a notice- ably different texture than the surrounding paint. To ensure the finished texture will be consistent in these areas, brush on the paint, then immediately roll it out before the paint dries.

7. Spills and spatters happen, regardless of how careful you are. It’s a lot easier to pre- pare for them than to wipe them out of your carpeting or off your wood floor later. All it takes is canvas drop cloths in your work area. The thick canvas stays in place, so you don’t need to tape it, and you can use it to cover any surface. Plastic drop cloths are slippery to walk on or set a ladder on and don’t stay in place. Even worse, paint spills on plastic stay wet, and they can end up on your shoes and get tracked through the house. Canvas is slippery on hard floors, so rosin paper is better over vinyl, tile and hard- wood. Tape the sheets together and to the floor to provide a nonslip surface.

But even with canvas or rosin-paper drop cloths, large spills still need to get wiped up right away or they’ll seep through. Clean spills with paper towels or cloth rags. Likewise, if you splatter paint on any other surface, wipe it up immediately.

By: YOUR GARAGE ORGANIZER | Created 10/31/2018

A garage can become crowded quite quickly. It’s often used to house a wide range of equipment, including your car, your tools, any projects in process and anything you’d like to store for later. Even large garages can fill up quickly, with everything they’re supposed to hold.

When you install overhead garage storage, you can reclaim your garage for other purposes. There are many benefits to overhead storage, including savings, security and space.

Added Floor Space

Storing things overhead can allow you to utilize your floor space for better purposes. If you’ve been parking your car outside in the elements, overhead storage can let you bring your car back into the safety and security of your garage. You’ll also have more room for projects and for easily walking from one end to the other.

Added Storage Space

When you store things overhead, you also open up more space for added storage, as you can use the floor space to hold other things you don’t use often. This increased space means you can also keep the inside of your home less cluttered.

Protection from Water Damage

Sometimes garages flood, and even just a little bit of water can damage certain items. Overhead storage lifts your precious items up out of harm’s way.

Easy Access

Easy overhead storage systems let you get to your items easily. You can store up to 250 pounds and can lower and lift your items with a sturdy crank or cable.

Saves on a Storage Unit

Instead of spending money every month to store your things away from home, overhead storage lets you keep your money in your pocket.

Instead of piling up boxes on top of one another and having to sift through each one to find what you’re looking for, consider investing in garage storage that really works. A licensed contractor can easily install your overhead storage unit so you can hang things with confidence.

By: PALM BEACH ALUMINUM INC | Created 10/31/2018

Swimming pool enclosures or pool cages, are popular choices in Florida. Offering countless benefits to pool owners. But before take a decision you need to consider the pros and cons of adding a swimming pool enclosure to your backyard!

Pros of Swimming Pool Enclosures

Better security.

It makes your outdoor living area more secure, along with your home. It’s easy to lock to help dissuade intruders and provides you with a little more peace of mind knowing it’s there.

More swim time.

You can also install a pool heating system. It makes the perfect combination, giving your family and guests significantly more swim time, particularly when the weather turns chilly.

Less maintenance.

Those pesky leaves that blow from your neighbor’s trees day in and day out won’t make it into your pool anymore. You’ll spend much less time skimming the surface, having to scoop out all leaves every couple of days.

Sunlight protection.

A pool screen enclosure will provide you with more UV sunlight protection. While many people love being able to soak up the sun and lay out sunbathing, it’s just not healthy for your skin. It will help mitigate those harsh UV rays.

Insect and pest repellent.

When you have a pool screen enclosure, you have a ready-made, always available, insect and pest repellent. It will keep mosquitoes, bees, wasps, and other pests away from your pool and your home.

Withstands strong winds.

Pool screen enclosures are built strong, strong enough to withstand heavy winds. So, if a big storm does roll through the area, the birdcage will survive the inclement weather.

Cons of Swimming Pool Enclosures.

Limited Landscaping Options:

You are limited with the type of landscaping you can do. Providing a lot of shade, many plants cannot survive without sunlight. Enclosures also tend to take up a lot of yard space, reducing the amount of grass significantly.

Chilly Pool Water:

Your pool water can become chilly. The limited exposure to the sun doesn’t allow for the use of solar pool covers, which are energy efficient and cost effective. However, there are other heating options like gas and heat pumps.

Price:

Installing a pool enclosure adds an extra expense as a pool owner. This is something to take into consideration when deciding whether or not this is the right option for you.

By: PALM BEACH CONTRACTING | Created 10/31/2018

Fire pits are more than just beautiful features for outdoor spaces, they are vehicles for bringing people together. Few things are more fundamental, or more enjoyable, than sitting around an open fire with family and friends.Of course, a fire pit can be had without spending too much.

Because styles, sizes and materials abound, your choices should be based on your space at hand, budget and, of course, local ordinances. Some municipalities ban open burning of any kind.

Here’s what else to consider before planning a fire pit: 

Permanent or Portable?

You may want to think in terms of permanence. Do you want a fire pit that is built in  a focal point in the yard  or something that’s lightweight and potentially portable, so you can take it where you want your gathering. 

Regardless of which style you choose, you need to make sure that you’re using proper stones and materials, something that shouldn’t splinter when the fire heats up. Make it proportional to the size of your yard, and be sure you have room for seating and circulation.

Wood or Gas?

Some fire pits use gas or propane for an instant fire — maybe even powered with a remote switch — though it’s not as hot as a wood fire and you don’t get the same crackle and smoke. Some dual-fuel fire bowls and tables let you do both; and you can design a built-in fire pit to do the same.

What to Set It On?

It’s best to set a portable fire pit atop a natural surface such as concrete, stone, gravel, brick or slate or on a fire-resistant composite. Putting it on a wood deck can be dangerous if embers fly. A permanent fire pit is typically built on a base of gravel somewhere in the backyard.

Where is the Right Location for Your Fire Pit?

Many communities require a minimum of a 10-foot distance from your house and neighbors’ yards. Some don’t require a permit if the fire pit fits within set size requirements; others require a site inspection from local fire officials to help make sure your proposed location is safe. And, some communities have outright bans on open fires.  Check with local officials before you purchase or start planning a fire pit.

What Safety Tips Should I Keep in Mind?

A fire of any kind — no matter the size — demands serious attention to safety. 

Check wind direction before you light a fire.

Don’t use flammable fluids (gasoline, lighter fluid, etc.) to light or relight fires.

Don’t wear flammable clothing (like nylon) or any loose-fitting clothing.

Avoid using soft woods like pine or cedar, because they can “pop” and throw sparks.

Make sure to keep children and pets at least 3 feet away from the fire.

It’s also important that you know how to safely dispose of the ashes when you’re done with the fire for the night.

By: THE GROUT DOCTOR | Created 10/31/2018

A tile floor looks unique and beautiful. However, for the tiles to look as good as new even after a few years, you need to maintain your tiles. Unfortunately, if you skip regular tile and grout cleanings, your floors will suffer in quality and appearance, and you may end up having to pay for costly tile repairs sooner than later. Here are some reasons to have your home’s tile and grout cleaned on a regular basis:

Your Floors Will Last Longer

A bit of upfront effort and money can protect your home’s floors.  If neglected, the dust, dirt, and other contaminants that stain tiles and grout can weaken the integrity of your floors. They will begin to discolor, fade, crack, lose their luster and shine, and generally wear down much more quickly than they would if they’d been cleaned on a regular basis.

Your Floors Will Look Much Newer

Having your tile floors and grout professionally cleaned on a regular basis will keep them looking fresh, bright, and new, which can make your entire home look and feel much nicer. Since your floors will look much newer and fresher, you may be able to put off that costly tile floor replacement you’ve been thinking about.

Clean Tile and Grout is Better for Your Family’s Health

The porous nature of grout means that it easily collects bacteria and germs, making your floors unsanitary unless they are cleaned often and correctly. Professionally cleaned tile and grout is especially important if you have crawling babies or toddlers who play on the floor, or if anyone in your home has allergies, asthma, or respiratory issues. Keeping your tile and grout free of germs is an important part of any healthy home’s maintenance and cleaning plan.

Professional Cleaning Does Not Damage Your Grout

Professional cleaners have access to more effective cleaning tools and techniques that do an amazing job without causing any damage to your tile or grout. When homeowners attempt to clean their tile and grout themselves, they will likely be disappointed by lackluster results, leading to attempts with increasingly harsher chemicals and more abrasive cleaners. Unfortunately, this can do lasting damage to your floors and grout. A safer approach is to let a trusted expert take care of this cleaning task in order to get professional results without the danger of damage to your floors and grout.

A professional tile and grout cleaning can make a huge difference in the appearance and durability of your floors.

By: IMPACT DW CORPORATION | Created 10/31/2018

Homeowners in the areas most likely to be hit by hurricanes and tropical storms turn their minds towards disaster preparedness. Although no method can completely protect against hurricane damage, you can take many steps to minimize the risk to your home, including one of the most vulnerable points: Your windows.

The impact windows are built with one goal in mind: to protect your home during the most severe weather conditions, such as hurricanes and tropical storms.

How hurricane impact windows work.

High-performance impact-resistant windows are built very differently when compared to normal windows. They consist of several layers of glass and/or plexiglass or other synthetic materials that make shattering or penetration through them extremely difficult. These layers are sealed together with a security-rated PVB interlayer that will hold the window together should the glass be broken. In testing, the windows are hit with a large missile (a nine-pound wood 2x4) calibrated to travel at 50 feet per second upon release. After passing this test, they are then subjected to a variety of other stress-related surface changes that may occur due to high heat and humidity.

Safety and efficiency.

Homeowners can expect several other benefits when installing high-performance impact windows in their homes — in addition to hurricane window protection. One perk is the energy efficiency that is added to your home. The superior seal and strength of hurricane impact windows helps to save more on your monthly heating and cooling costs.

The synthetic layer that seals the window together also acts as a UV ray filter, blocking up to 99 percent of the rays. During the summer, the windows filter out the sun’s long wave radiation, blocking and reducing the heat gained from the sunlight. In the winter, the glass allows warm solar rays into the home, while insulating and keeping the warmth generated from your heating unit inside.

Another added benefit is that hurricane windows absorb sound instead of transmitting it. If you’ve ever been woken up early on a weekend by someone in the neighborhood doing yard work, this is a feature you can definitely appreciate.

Taking measures to stormproof your home could save you from a potential disaster. When the storms start rolling in, it is nice to have peace of mind and know you and your home are ready.

 

By: ATANDA FENCE OF SOUTH FLORIDA | Created 10/31/2018

There are many reasons to add a fence on your property to create an increased sense of privacy, security for pets or childrens or to add to the look and curb value of your home.  

Fences can be expensive, so before you make that investment, you will want to consider the by-laws concerning fencing in your area and your budget. Although it may make financial sense to share the cost of a fence with your neighbor, before you actually proceed with the plan be sure to get the details of your agreement down in writing.  Circumstances change, people move, trees fall down, etc. You have no way of knowing what will happen in the future so make sure you have documented your plan.

The purpose of the fence will determine the style. There are a wide variety of materials available.

Wood.

A traditional favorite, wood offers a natural look and can be painted or stained to match other features on the property and suit your personal style. Cedar and redwood are two popular material choices.

The style of your wood fence will depend on its function. A picket fence is charming and welcoming. It allows people to see into property and show off beautiful gardens. A privacy fence, on the other hand will be constructed using at least six or seven foot boards. A semi private fence is not as tall, and often includes latticework at the top.

Metal.

Chain link fences are very reasonably priced and easy to install. They don’t provide much in the way of privacy and are often seen as a cheap option. If safety and security of pets is your goal, a chain link fence may be exactly what you need.

Wrought iron fences, combined with stone or brick, are classically elegant and stylish. A wrought iron fence also provides a sense of security and safety, especially if it is a tall with sharp points at the top.

PVC or Vinyl

Nearly maintenance free and available in a variety of colors and styles, PVC or vinyl fences are becoming increasingly popular with homeowners. They are more expensive than some other options, but they have ease of maintenance and durability on their side.

By: Global Service & Installation | Created 10/31/2018

Consider adding a pergola to your deck or patio, they adds value to your home, sets your property in a stylish and useful way and allows you to enjoy life in the fresh air.

A pergola consist of four freestanding posts supporting an open-style roof, most commonly formed from a series of crossbeams. Like decks, you can also attach a pergola to the side of a home.

Before you decide to build a pergola, review the landscape on your property and consider your needs. If you're looking to create usable outdoor space away from the home, a pergola might be a good idea.

A pergola primarily provides shade, typically by means of climbing plants that wind themselves through the slats in the roof to create an arbor. If you have a yard that doesn't benefit from much shade, a pergola can help. A pergola attached to the side of your house and shaded with plants or durable outdoor fabric can create a haven from the heat and serve as a dramatic design element.

EXPERT TIPS

On a Budget: Keep it simple by using a basic pergola structure as an entrance to a garden, terrace or pool area. Allow vines and florals to grow and shape themselves around the pergola for added color and interest.

Mid-Range: Design a pergola to cover a comfy outdoor seating or dining area. This allows for the feel of a true outdoor room without closing off the sunlight and natural elements.

High-End: A large space with multiple outdoor living areas can be connected by a grouping of pergolas. This helps tie in different elements of the space and keep certain areas, such as the pool and the outdoor kitchen, connected. Pergolas help add flow to the outdoors, making entertaining easier and each space more enjoyable.

 

By: FRANK SEEBER ROOFING | Created 10/31/2018

Taking care of your roof is one of the most important tasks.  It can be easy to forget about your roof because it is a sort of out of sight.  

 

Some of the most common roofing problems include:

Lack of Maintenance - You should schedule an annual inspection of your roofing. Over time there are many things that go wrong with your roof and you need to be on top of taking care of it on a regular basis. Mildew, sagging or large holes are usually clear indicators of a roof that has been neglected.

Improper Repairs - This is one of the worst offenses because it means the homeowner actually hired someone to get the job done. Unfortunately, there is not much you can do to prevent it except make sure whoever you hire is reputable.

Storm Related Damage - Any season can cause storm related damage. Hail, rain, heavy winds, lightning or even broken branches can all cause major roofing damage. Make sure following any weather related events you have your roof inspected for possible damages.

Roof Leaks - No matter what type of roof you have, if a leak develops you have a problem. Your roofing is meant to act like a lid on a container. The purpose of this lid is to keep everything inside dry. Once a leak compromises that all you can hope to do is fix it in time to minimize the damage.

Moisture - Moisture will lead to mold and mildew and all of this will begin to cause rot. The worst part is that it can develop into a deeper problem if it begins to also get into the walls and pose a threat to the structure of the house.

One of the best ways to prevent problems with your roof is to only work with reputable companies. If at all possible also ask for references so you can speak to someone who used this company before.

 

By: MOODY PLUMBING INC | Created 10/31/2018

The plumbing in your home, is part of an efficient, simple system.

However, this system needs maintenance to perform optimally, and it may require hiring a plumber for emergency assistance to stop a leak or prevent major damage to your home.

If left untreated, a plumbing leak can cause damage to your walls. When pipes running behind walls burst or begin to leak, they moisten the drywall; eventually, this moisture makes its way through the walls and produces wet spots.

Over time, the moisture may lead to black mold, requiring not only the services of a mold remediation company, but also requiring the removal of large wall sections.

Another concern is damage to flooring. Water always flows downhill, which means any leaks in a kitchen or bathroom will pool on and under your floors.

In a bathroom, you may notice loose tiles next to the tub or shower or along the tub edging. You might also see water on the floor after a bath or shower not due to spills or splashing.

In your kitchen, be on the lookout for warping or discolored floorboards, especially next to a dishwasher or fridge with a water line.

Plumbing leaks are always better tackled immediately; time left untreated is proportional to damage.

Homeowners need to watch for potential problems. If you see any of the signs listed above, consider hiring a professional plumber, they can assess the level of damage and make the appropriate repairs.

By: XTREME OUTDOOR SOLUTION | Created 10/31/2018

Retaining walls are usually thought of as utilitarian and for merely holding back soil. But you can use them to create beautiful outdoor living spaces and incorporate multi-use spaces.

 

Make a Creative Design

Retaining walls don't have to be perfectly straight. Add a curve to dress up a boring straight wall and to add a little more texture to your landscape. You can use a garden hose or large rope to set the layout of the curve, then use a shovel to cut through the soil to follow the curve.

 

Size Does Matter

Smaller retaining walls, such as those less than four feet, can be easily planned and created without worrying too much about structure. Larger walls above that height may need an engineer's touch. Also be sure to check with local codes before starting one more than four feet tall.

 

Think Terracing

From a lower grade, you'll need to gradually step up the retaining wall to reach a greater slope. Do this in increments and plan for a slight offset for each course change.

 

Manufactured Blocks and Stones Are Easier

Besides offering a consistent look, manufactured blocks and stones for retaining walls offer structural integrity and an even base with which to work. There is little guesswork in installing, plus you'll have less work to do making sure each course is level. Be sure to color match and space out uneven colored stones and blocks for a better look.

 

Create A Solid Base

Dig out your base several inches below grade and tamp/compact it to level. Add any filler, such as gravel, before adding your first stones or blocks. Remember, the base sets the tone for the entire wall, so spend a lot of time in preparing this key component.

 

Plan For Drainage

A retaining wall that has a slope dropping to it will need additional drainage at the base. Add gravel and a fabric-covered drainage pipe at the base. The fabric will help prevent clogging of the pipe; a key feature as you will not want to dig out the pipe later to unclog it.

 

Keep It Level

For each course of stones and blocks, be sure to check for level. This will help maintain a sturdy and balanced wall, plus you'll keep an even and consistent look.

 

Backfill Adds Support

Backfilling as you go adds support in success layers, so as you add a new course of blocks or stones, backfill to match this level. Be sure to tamp in/compact the soil as well, so you don't have as much settling later.

 

Add Finishing Touches to the Top

Add cap blocks to the top row of a block or stone retaining wall. You can add a layer of masonry adhesive to hold them in place, then back fill. Or you can backfill as you go, then add the cap. Either way, it provides a nice finished look, much like edging added to a paver patio.

 

Building a retaining wall can be a big investment of time and money. Before you get started, learn these key tips to make sure your project is a success.

 

A retaining wall doesn't need to be boring!!!! With the selection of styles, colors textures available, you can find the perfect wall to enhance your landscaping design, creating curve or straight walls, terraces, stairs, planters and pillars.

By: THE COASTAL CLOSET COMPANY OF FL | Created 10/30/2018

If you have walked down the closet aisle of a big box store recently, you probably saw so much white vinyl-clad shelving that you thought you were caught in a snowstorm. Closet systems, complete with hardware, brackets, drawers, and baskets, win a lot of shelf space! Whether they use coated wire, laminated wood, or plastic, these DIY systems are popular and offer a convenient and affordable way to organize any closet in your home. There are also professional closet companies that specialize in organizing other people's stuff. They can create a custom closet solution from the ground up, or just help you maximize the space you have.

The Clutter Dilemma

The "stuff" that accumulates in your home can overwhelm you unless you manage it. Old clothes, new clothes, and multiple accessories in your bedroom closet expand to the point that you can't find what you want. If you have ever re-bought a blouse or a belt you unknowingly already had, you know that an unruly closet can cost you time, aggravation, and money.

When discussing organization and clutter, the elephant in the room is that you probably don't need more of what is already threatening to take over. That's why the best starting place when you're organizing is to get rid of outgrown or unworn clothes, appliances, kitchen gadgets, books, and more. Donate them, sell them, or pitch them! For the avalanche of catalogs, magazines, and mail accumulating, regularly throw out or recycle what you don't truly need to keep.

DIY Off-The-Shelf Solutions

There are many organizational tools will help you manage what you really need to have around the house. The DIY systems on the market today are do-it-yourself products for those with basic skills and tools. However, shelves and closet rods must be properly attached to your walls so that they can bear weight. You might have to cut shelves down a bit to "customize" them. If you aren't handy, installing closet organizers ] or even a single shelf is better left to professional closet companies.

Professional Closet Design Companies

If you need some ideas about creative way to use space so you have more storage, professional closet design companies can help with organizational and storage needs throughout your home. Some companies specialize in transforming a closet with built-in drawers, shelves, racks, and rods placed at different levels. This custom approach offers you personalized design and a well-built solution to storage in your bedroom and throughout your home.

Beware Magic Solutions That Add To Clutter

Organizing your space takes organization in itself - and self-discipline. Late night infomercials and catalogs always have a system to sell, complete with magic hangers, telescoping hangers, storage boxes and containers, racks that spin or fold up, and more. To make sure you do not increase your clutter with useless products, read online reviews before you buy to see whether other customers have found the items worthwhile.

There is no substitute for good design in planning how you will organize your home. If you need suggestions, many of the major closet organizer manufacturers, such as Closet Maid, have design tips and templates online. Professional closet organizing companies are also useful in helping you maximize storage space and many even offer free estimates.

By: AMERICA REFINISHING PROS | Created 10/30/2018

If you have unlimited money to remodel your home, you might gut the bathroom, add on a couple square feet, and install all new fixtures, flooring, and cabinetry. If you are on a strict budget or just need to do some modernization before you sell, you can restore the surface of many fixtures without replacing them and save money!

Approaching A Budget Remodel

Your first priority in any bathroom upgrade is to make sure that there are no leaks, either visible or behind the wall. Leaks often lead to displaced tiles, damaged drywall, mold, discoloration, and odor. You need to go to the root of the problem before refinishing, as unrepaired leaks can damage new materials. Once you are sure that there is no water damage near the tub, shower basin, toilet, or sink, you can attend to improving the cosmetics.

If your fixtures and cabinets are in good condition, you can refinish them for much less than buying new ones. With any home improvement project, your ultimate goal should be for it to look professional. Shoddy work will stand out and may even sink your chances of selling your home - costing you more in the long run.

Even if you call in a handyman or bathroom remodeler who specializes in re-bathing, you will still save more than if you replaced all the old appointments.

Here Are Some Handy Tips When Upgrading On A Budget:

  • You can refinish tubs and sinks or have them professionally reglazed with a material such as Permaglaze, a state-of-the-art synthetic glaze. This material even does a great job on vanity countertops. For tubs, you can also have them relined by a re-bath specialist.

  • If your tile is dated or in poor condition from previous leaks, a bath or shower surround adds a new look at a very reasonable price.

  • If you are keeping the vanity base but changing the top, make sure the cutouts for your sink and faucet line up with the plumbing. Also, make sure your new top is not too heavy for the base; that granite and marble that are so attractive in bathrooms weigh much more than your old Formica top.

  • New lights, fresh paint and updated cabinet hardware and towel bars are all great ways to modernize your bathroom on a tight budget.

For Best ROI (Return On Investment), Don't Overdo It

When you browse home magazines, the beautiful vessel sinks, glass showers, and spa-like upgrades are very appealing. These trendy upgrades are also very expensive. In addition, they may have limited appeal to potential buyers or even worse, price you out of your neighborhood when you go to sell. Unless you live in a neighborhood where upscale baths are the norm, stick to basics if you are modernizing to sell the house.

Bath remodels often make the list of upgrades with a good rate-of-return at sale time, and smart planning will result in a beautiful bathroom that looks like new - at a fraction of the cost!

By: TAYLOR TOTAL TREE SERVICE | Created 10/30/2018

Do you own a home with a backyard or front yard full of trees? Tree trimming can help you improve your curb appeal with a little fine pruning and crown reduction. There are many benefits homeowners reap from tree trimming, but you first need to find out the type of tree trimming your home property needs.

Fine Pruning is removing small limbs to improve the tree’s appearance.

Standard Pruning involves a bit more heavy cutting and is done to enhance the tree’s branch structure.

Hazard Trimming is recommended for trees that pose safety concerns. This typically involves removing branches that are two inches or more in diameter.

Crown Reduction Trimming usually involves the removal of major branches, and should only  be done when there is significant dieback, storm damage, or when branches are interfering with power lines. In these cases, one should never remove more than one third of the tree’s crown.

Benefits

Proper trimming can improve the health of your trees by eliminating branches that are dead or dying. These branches are often dangerous, and removing them reduces the risk of harm to your family and damage your property.

Trimming your trees will increase sun exposure and air circulation throughout the tree and underlying landscape, which will improve the tree’s health.

Pruning fruit trees can actually improve the size and quantity of the crop. Fruit trees should be pruned in late winter for shape and to expose the center of the tree to sunlight.

Newly planted trees should be pruned to compensate for root loss and to begin training the tree for shape.

Tree trimming can also simply open up your property and improve your view.

Winter tree trimming

It’s a very good idea to prune your trees during the winter. It allows a burst of new growth once spring returns and it can really lead to a fuller, more mature look for the tree later down the road.

Summer tree trimming

Pruning in the summer is smart if you want to slow branch growth and keep the tree at a certain size. Cutting back branches after a spring growth spurt allows for more of the food manufactured in the tree’s leaves to be sent straight to the roots, making the tree stronger.

To keep up with frequent tree maintenance, while enhancing your home property appearance and value, hire a professional to meet your tree trimming needs.

By: KINETICO | Created 10/30/2018

A high-quality water filtration system is the best and maybe the only solution to protect your family from harmful water contaminants. A professional water purification system will remove chemicals to ensure the water delivered to your home is free of contaminants.

By installing a water purifying filtration system, you will limit your exposure to harmful chemicals, save money, protect the environment and provide healthier drinking water for your family.

What is a Whole House Water Filter?

A water purification system utilizes a process that is meant to remove unwanted contaminants from water. The purification process has a variety of standard requirements to meet that allow water to be used for drinking. A whole house filter connects to the main water line entering your house so that all of the water dispensers in your house dispense treated water.

Types of Common Contaminants

Sediments. Visible particles in the watersuch as dirt, dust, rust and sand. Water supplies with high amounts of sediment should consider multiple stages of sediment filtration, with the stages gradually becoming finer.

Chemicals. Most chemical contaminants can be removed using carbon filtration. The most common chemical disinfectant is chlorine, which can be removed with a carbon filter.

Iron. There are 2 types of iron found in water supplies, ferrous and ferric. Water iron and rust particles can be removed with a sediment filter, whereas clear water iron can be removed via oxidation or ion exchange.

 

The water in our homes is an important resource that we often take for granted. We bathe in the water our home provides, clean our vegetables with it, cook with it and drink it. Something that provides so much to us should be the cleanest and healthiest it can be.

By: 5 DAY PLANTATION SHUTTERS | Created 10/30/2018

Plantation shutters are an attractive window treatment. There are numerous compelling reasons to opt for plantation shutters. Shutters have a clean look to them and are quite appealing.

While good looks may have you ready to make the plunge, you may need a few more reasons to help you make a decision. Here are some reasons to consider.

Aesthetics.

No doubt, interior shutters are attractive. They come in a variety of sizes and finishes as well as mounting options. As an interior design choice, you can’t go wrong by selecting wood plantation shutters. They fit in with just about any décor and offer a clean, cohesive look throughout the home.

Privacy. 

Interior shutters can be adjusted to let the light flow in. This allows you to have privacy as well as light. If you angle them in such a manner, you can even see out, but others won’t be able to see in.

Ventilation. 

Not only can you adjust the plantation shutters for maximum privacy and control the light coming in, you can open up the windows, let the air flow in, and then adjust the shutters for maximum ventilation - all without compromising your privacy. Shutters are easy to adjust. Simply grasp the crossbar and adjust the shutters.

Durability.

Custom interior shutters are durable and built to last. In addition, most shutters come with some type of warranty. Because you won’t need to replace your shutters every few years, your initial investment will pay off over time. Plus, plantation shutters never go out of style.

Easy to Clean. 

Interior shutters are virtually maintenance-free. Use a damp cloth from time to time and wipe off the dirt, dust, and grime. In addition, you don’t need to take them down in order to clean them as you would with other types of window coverings. A quick wipe down is all you need. The shutters have a larger surface area than mini-blinds making them much easier to clean.

Plantation shutters can help preserve the life of furniture and carpets.

You can leave the shutters in the up or semi-closed position to direct the sunlight away from furniture and carpets. The UV rays of the sun cause materials to fade over time, which significantly affects their attractiveness and useful lifespan. In addition to fading, fabrics can degrade. By keeping your furniture shaded, it will last longer and remain attractive and durable for years to come.

Good looks, light control, style and  durability are a few good reasons to consider interior shutters. While installing plantation shutters in your home can be expensive, your furniture will last longer and you won’t have to replace worn out curtains or blinds.

By: SOLAR SOLUTIONS | Created 10/30/2018

Solar panels are a great way to offset energy costs, reduce the environmental impact of your home and provide a host of other benefits, such as supporting local businesses and contributing to energy independence.

Looking to install panels on your home? Here are some benefits.

Reduce or eliminate energy bills.

Even if you live somewhere cloudy, such locations typically receive more than two hours of sunlight per day, while sunny locations receive an average of 5.5 hours of sunlight per day.

Although sunny days will produce more solar energy, solar panels will continue to draw energy even when the weather is cloudy. Indirect, or diffused, sunlight will still help to power your home. Cloudy days usually produce around 10 to 20 percent of the power generated on sunny days.

Start saving from day one.

Annual energy costs can be in the thousands.  Solar power can reduce or eliminate these costs as soon as they are installed. They also offer long-term savings, because it’s basically free to capture the power of the sun.

Solar panels also extend the life of a roof, because they protect from the elements, such as rain, snow and debris. They make the house more energy-efficient in the summer because the hot sun is not beating down on the roof directly—it is instead being absorbed by the panels, keeping the house temperature lower.

Increase your property value

Homes equipped with solar energy systems have higher property values and sell more quickly than non-solar homes. Appraisers are increasingly taking solar installations into consideration as they value homes at the time of a sale, and as homebuyers become more educated about solar, demand for properties equipped with solar panel systems will continue to grow.

Low Maintenance Costs

Solar energy systems generally don’t require a lot of maintenance. You only need to keep them relatively clean, so cleaning them a couple of times per year will do the job. If in doubt, you can always rely on specialised cleaning companies, which offer this service. Most reliable solar panel manufacturers give 20-25 years warranty.

Help the environment and help us all.

Solar power systems derive clean, pure energy from the sun. Installing solar panels on your home helps combat greenhouse gas emissions and reduces our collective dependence on fossil fuel. Traditional electricity is sourced from fossil fuels such as coal and natural gas. When fossil fuels are burned to produce electricity, they emit harmful gases that are the primary cause of air pollution and global climate change. Not only are fossil fuels bad for the environment, but they are also a finite resource. Because of this, the price is constantly fluctuating and can increase in a short period of time.

Are You Ready to go Solar?

By: CSI VIDEO AND SECURITY LLC | Created 10/30/2018

Wherever you decide to go for vacation, there are often dozens of things to worry about prior to your trip. Here are some tips to keep in mind before you leave to make sure your home is safe while you’re gone.

Home Security

If you have a home security system, make sure it is set properly, and that lights inside the house will turn on and off with a timer. Notify the newspaper and mail carrier to hold deliveries until you return, or have a neighbor pick these up each day so they don’t accumulate.

Safety Steps

Make sure smoke detectors and fire alarms are in working order. Even though you won’t be home, these might alert neighbors that there is a problem inside your home.

Unplug appliances while gone. If there is an electrical surge or lightening weather, reducing the number of plugged in items could help prevent an electrical fire.

Take extra time to shut off the water at major appliances and the bathroom fixtures. And, set the water heater to a vacation setting or a lower temperature to save energy.

To prevent pests and vermin from entering your home or garage, make sure all trash is taken away before you leave. Lock screened areas, windows or other locations that might give accessibility to stray animals.

Severe Weather Preparation

Summer storms can creep up unexpectedly. Protect your outdoor furniture, grills, and equipment by securing them inside a shed or garage while you’re on vacation.

If you live in an area that typically has high water or flash floods during summer thunderstorms, then consider installing a water detection alarm inside your home.

We hope you have a great vacation, but if a disaster does affect your home while away, remember to call for professional help to get your home back to live-in condition.

By: GVRG PRESSURE WASHING | Created 10/30/2018

Pressure Washing your driveway can remove years of dirt and built-up grime from the surface, restoring it’s original appearance.

How Often Should You Pressure Wash Your Driveway?

Do you have large trees, shrubs or hedges that surround your property? If so, you driveway will need cleaning more frequently as the build-up of organic matter such as tree saps, pollen and leafs and twigs will happen relatively quickly and encourage the growth of moss and algae.

If your driveway is very shady with lots of mature tree or hedge cover it will grow algae and moss much faster than a surface exposed to the sun many hours of the day.

For properties with driveways that get bathed by the hot sun all day it can create a very undesirable environment for algae, moss and other organic growth but they can still collect dust, dirt, mud, oil and other contaminants.

Every 2-3 years is generally a good cycle for pressure washing an average driveway.

Can You Pressure Wash The Driveway On Your Own?

You certainly can. Pressure washers can be bought or rented at many local shops and then you just need some fuel, some gum-boots or rain pants, a water supply and several hours of your spare time!

What Type Of Stains Can Pressure Washing Remove?

Driveways can collect all kinds of dirt and grime and eventually stains develop from tree saps to automotive oils to chewing gum, dirt, mud, bird poop and more. All of these can all be removed using a pressure washer and the right detergents or degreasers on the driveway. In most cases degreasers and detergents aren’t necessary but they are available for really stubborn stains.

How Much Will It Cost To Clean Your Driveway?

Pressure washing a driveway is usually estimated and charged by the square foot. The price per square foot can vary depending on accessibility, the size of the driveway and also the material’s it is made from.

When you factor the cost of doing it yourself, hiring someone to come out once every two years and clean your driveway and concrete professionally isn’t such a bad idea. You can leave for work in the morning and come back to a bright and clean driveway that evening!

By: BASTOS PAVERS INC | Created 10/30/2018

When you keep your pavers in tip-top shape, you preserve your investment and enhance the beauty of your property. Here are some specific steps you can take to maintain your pavers.

Sweep Regularly

Use a sturdy broom to sweep away dirt and debris on your pavers. Do this on a regular basis especially during Fall time when leaves tend to accumulate.

Wash Off Dirt

Washing your pavers can help to remove any additional dirt or grime after sweeping. You can use a garden hose to wash your pavers but do not to direct water into the joints as this can displace the sand.

Clean Stains Right Away

When you notice stains, clean them right away before they set in. If you don’t clean them immediately, they can be very difficult to clean.

Remove Leaves

Do not allow leaves and other organic matter to build up on your patio, driveway, or walkway. Sweep or blow away leaves right away as some leaves can permanently stain your pavers.

Leave Moss Alone

If you have moss growing in the cracks, the roots go into the sand. Resist the urge to pull them. This is may sound counterintuitive, however, when you remove the moss, the sand will come out. This means you may have to replace the sand and, ultimately, the moss will return.

Clean and Seal Pavers

We recommend getting your pavers professionally cleaned and sealed.

By: ANDERSON LANDSCAPING INC | Created 10/30/2018

As nice as it is to have a lawn with beautiful green grass, the job of maintaining such a landscape can be difficult and require a considerable amount of work.

It is important to take the proper steps to ensure the grass you’re dedicating so much of your time to is healthy and full of potential.

Watering

One of the most important parts of growing a green lawn is making sure your grass has adequate water. However, your grass doesn’t require as much water as some might think.

Obviously as spring turns into summer, the weather will get hotter and grass will need more water to thrive. But even then, the rate of watering your lawn shouldn’t be too dramatic.

Weeding

One thing everyone with a lawn has in common is a healthy disdain for native weeds. But if you haven’t initiated a pre-emergence weed plan yet, you may have to get comfortable with a few unwelcome weeds growing in your yard.

The key to preventing weeds is to stop them before they start growing. It may be too late to stop a lot of the weed growth this summer, but it’s never too late to look ahead to future seasons.

Don’t cut too short

Cutting your grass down so far as to expose soil will allow weeds and pests to flourish in your yard and make it very difficult for your grass to recover.

Try to mow when it’s dry

This isn’t always possible, especially if you hit a patch of bad weather where it rains every day for a week, but it is preferable to mow when it’s dry outside to help prevent your grass clippings from clumping, which can lead to uneven cuts and potentially killing your grass if large clumps are not picked up after you mow. Wet grass also increases your risk of slipping while mowing, which can be extremely dangerous with a push mower.

Mix up your pattern

If you always mow in the same pattern, you will begin to create noticeable ruts with your mower and compact the soil in a manner which will make it harder for your grass to grow. Additionally, you will develop a grain in the grass which only goes in one direction, causing the grass to lean rather than stand up straight.

By: QUALITY STONES | Created 10/30/2018

Natural stone increase your home’s value, a significant advantage when it comes time to sell a property. Here you have 5 reasons why you should use natural stone in your home or business:

Natural stone is “cheaper” than other cladding materials.

If you are searching for the best return on your investment, this is the best choice because it adds lasting value to your home. Unlike manufactured products such as ceramic or porcelain tiles that become dated over time, natural stone endures, adding a long-term value to your property.

Durability:

It is resistant to decay and less susceptible to damage than other materials thanks to it natural properties. For example, granite is very popular for kitchens due to its durabiliy and strenght.

Natural stone is easy to care for:

While other products need to be sealed or painted regularly, this material keeps looking perfect for years. You won’t spend money or much time maintaining your home, only occasionally with a quick rinse.

Unique and beautiful style:

If you use this natural material, your house won’t look like every other house on the street. Each stone is completely unique and different. The rich variety of colors and textures of stones cannot be duplicated by manufactured products. There is a stone product for any style, from traditional to contemporary.

Energy efficiency.

Natural stone‘s thermal inertia helps maintain constant temperatures in your home’s interior, promoting thermal comfort and energy savings.

This natural product can add an extra touch of class to any space of your house: kitchens, bathrooms, living rooms, pathways… changing the look of your house or business.

Installing stone in your home or business will be an intelligent choice, specially if you wish to raise the value of your property.

By: TWIN LAKES POOLS | Created 10/30/2018

The idea of having a pool in your own backyard will always be incredibly glamorous. But, in those daydreams, one crucial element of pool ownership is often forgotten: the maintenance.

Without a proper maintenance routine, your pool could succumb to a variety of less-than-luxurious conditions – green water, broken filters, and algae build up, just to name a few.

Here are pool maintenance tips that you need to try right now.

Make A Skimming and Scrubbing A Part Of Life

Skimming the leaves and debris off of the surface of the water is a no-brainer, but it bears repeating. For a truly pristine pool, skimming  should be done daily.

In addition to skimming, you need to scrub  the sides of the pool to prevent algae build-up. Thankfully, that doesn’t need to be done quite as often. You can get away with scrubbing once every other week. Just look for any growths and go at them with a scrub brush to keep your siding looking fresh and clean.

 

Think Of The Filter As Your Pool’s Kidneys

Your pool’s filter is responsible for removing impurities from the water – think dirt, leaves, and even small toys.

Most of the time, the pool can be cleaned by turning off the filter, removing the filter cap located on the pool deck, lifting out the filter basket, and removing any debris before replacing everything. It’s best to clean out your filter basket at least once a week.

Once a month you’ll also want to clean out the pipes utilized by your filter system, which you can do by backwashing. To do so, simply set your filter to “backwash,” remove the leaf basket and clean it out. Then turn on your pump and let it run until the waste pipe ejects clear water.

Pools Need Consistent Chemical Levels

Chemical levels are arguably one of the most important facets of pool maintenance.  Improperly balanced water looks murky, irritates skin and eyes, and can cause your pool to become a breeding ground for bacteria.

Testing the water is easy. Simply buy a few testing kits from your local pool store. Fill it with a sample of your pool’s water. Add the provided solution to the testing kit and close the vials. After a few seconds, your sample water will change color and a comparison of the sample water to the colors shown on the testing kit should allow you to determine the current chemical levels. You should adjust the levels, as needed, to achieve an ideal balance.

You Need To Keep An Eye On The Water Level

As important as the chemical composition of the water is, the physical water level is just as important. The levels will naturally fluctuate after a heavy rainstorm or an afternoon of kids doing cannonballs.

You want to maintain a level that is halfway up the opening of your skimmer. If the water is too low, simply use a garden hose to add the necessary amount of water back in. If the water level is too high, rent a submergible pump from a home improvement store to drain the excess.

Use A Tennis Ball To Absorb Oils

Most of the time when people think about tennis balls in a pool, they think about playing catch. However, those toys can do double duty.

When swimmers exit the pool, certain oils can get left behind in the water – suntan lotion, hair product, the natural oils produced by our skin. While it’s unpleasant to think about, luckily there’s an easy solution.

Simply throw a tennis ball into the water. The fibers used to make the tennis ball will help absorb the oils and keep them from leaving a slick sheen on top of the water.

Power Wash To Make The Pool Deck Shine

The area that surrounds your pool is just as important as the physical structure itself. You can help keep your pool deck shining by power washing.

Power washing, also known as pressure washing, will help get rid of any rust or weather stains that occur over time. You can rent a power washer at any home improvement store.

 

Schedule A Yearly Service Appointment

Sometimes you need to trust an expert. Especially when it comes to your pool’s mechanical equipment – pumps, filters, heating systems – you may not have the proper knowledge for care. At least once a year, have a pool service professional come out to check your devices.

By incorporating these pool maintenance tips into a regular cleaning routine, you can ensure that you’ll spend more time sunbathing than doing chores.

Whether you’ve just opened your pool for the very first time or you’ve been a proud owner for years, check out these tips to get your summer season off to the right start.

By: SHELF GENIE SWFL | Created 10/30/2018

Designing the right storage solution and getting a custom pantry that fits your needs is tricky stuff best left to closet designers and storage experts. Here are a few smart pantry design tips and storage ideas to help you as you work with a designer to build your custom pantry.

SHELVES FOR FOOD STORAGE

For better efficiency and visibility, shelves should be customized and separated based on need. For pots, pans, and appliances, shelves should be between 14 and 16 inches deep. Never any deeper! For food storage, shelves should be 6, 9, and 12 inches deep. It’s also never a good idea to stack food or cans in tall shelves. Instead, opt for shallower, shorter-height shelves. You end up saving space while getting better accessibility. Whether you have a custom reach-in closet or custom walk-in closet, the rules above apply. 

OPEN SHELVING

Open shelving in a pantry can maximize storage potential. It makes unloading groceries a breeze, and finding what you need and seeing what needs restocking extra easy. You can also help prevent visual chaos by eliminating messy-looking open boxes and instead decanting bulk food like cereal and sugar into uniform jars or bins. This provides a sense of cohesion while also keeping food fresh and providing visual cues about when to restock items.

PANTRY PULL-OUT SHELVES ARE FUNCTIONAL

Pull-out shelves can make life easier, allowing you to find and take inventory of food quickly; but, it comes at a price as this pantry storage solution tends to be a more expensive option.

HOOKS ARE HELPFUL.

For bonus storage space, add hooks on the back of your pantry door. These hooks can hang aprons, oven mitts, reusable shopping bags, and even pizza peels for quick access. In a pantry, taking advantage of vertical storage is essential and in the end, saves on space.

CORNER SHELVES ARE A WASTE OF SPACE.

They’re especially a nightmare in pantries, creating problems rather than solving them. Corner shelves in pantries eliminate visibility and make it really tough to access what you need. Essentially half of your stored items are blocked!

 

HIDE GARBAGE AND RECYCLING IN PANTRIES.

Don’t forget about your garbage and recycling! If you don’t like their garbage cans out in the open, but don’t have the pull-out garbage cans and recycling bins built into your cabinetry, you can customize shelving around these unsightly objects to accommodate them in any pantry space.

Now that you know what it takes to design a modern, well-organized pantry, you can make intelligent decisions about the storage solution best for you.

 

It’s time to make the most of your kitchen layout with a Custom Pantry and say, “goodbye, clutter hello, organization.”

By: ITALGRES | Created 10/30/2018

If you are renovating an existing bath or starting from zero, you need consider a few things before selecting a new vanity to avoid unwanted installation-day surprises.

You need find the Right Size

Your bathroom floor plan and existing plumbing, are the baselines for determining where the vanity should go and how big it can be.

Width: Check that existing elements like doorways and built-ins will be able to open properly.

Depth: Leave enough space for traffic lanes so protruding corners won't catch you.

Height: Factor in faucet height if you have existing medicine cabinets, mirrors, or light fixtures.

Number of Sinks

The max width your vanity can be will decide how many sinks you can have: 48 inches is the common threshold for two sinks, though it's sometimes possible to fit both in smaller sizes. If you're close to 48 inches, consider how much counter space you'd like, as adding another sink diminishes the usable surface.

Mounting Options

For the easiest install, pick the mounting option that matches your current vanity—so the plumbing lines will be where you need them.

Freestanding options are the most common and offer a range of foot styles. Wall mount or floating vanities skew modern and generally offer less storage given their cropped height. Corner units fill a specific need and are limited to one sink.

Choosing a Style

With your measurements set it's time to think about the details, including sink types, materials, and whether a backsplash or faucet is included.

 

Sinks are almost always included with the vanity and come in four main styles:

Under mount: Installed underneath the counter for a seamless top.

Vessel: Sits on top of the counter; available in a variety of shapes including bowl and square.

Drop in: Top mounted so the edges rest on the counter but the basin is inset.

Integrated: The countertop includes the sink itself in one continuous piece.

Materials

Vanity base: Most often wood, but varies based on the desired finish.

Countertop: Stone or ceramic are the most popular.

Sink: Can match or vary from the countertop.

Hardware: The cabinet knobs or pulls.

Backsplash and Faucet

There are styles that include a backsplash in the same material as the countertop. For most vanities, you purchase the faucet separately. However, some vanities do include the faucets in one set style and finish.

 

These steps will help you find the bathroom vanity that will make your bathroom your new favorite place in the house.

By: SUNSHINE KITCHEN AND BATH | Created 10/30/2018

Making the right color choices for your home can sometimes be intimidating, especially if those color choices are attached to large price tags.

Color Inspiration can come from anywhere but not all colors work everywhere. The trick is finding the right colors for you and for your room. We've put together a list of tips to consider when choosing a "no regrets" color scheme for your kitchen or bathroom.

  • Pick colors that you love and that you respond to emotionally. Juicy yellow in the kitchen might be invigorating for one person and crazy-making for another one.
  • Don't be afraid to go with brighter or more saturated paint colors in the kitchen or bathroom. Usually there is very little empty wall space and the paint color becomes a border around the cabinets, appliances and woodwork. The right paint color can make these items pop, like the right frame for artwork.
  • Be prepared to be flexible and make compromises. As you go through the process of selecting all the colors and finishes, your plan will be constantly revised.
  • Choose one element to launch your color palette, but don't buy that item until all accompanying selections have been fully researched. For example, use hand-painted tiles as an inspiration but don't purchase them until you know you have coordinating countertops and flooring.
  • Start with the least flexible element of your bathroom or kitchen and match others to it. It's much easier to adjust stains and paints on cabinets or walls to harmonize with granite or tile.
  • Do not underestimate lighting. Look at all your color and finish choices in daylight and in the artificial light that will be in that particular room. Soft blues and greens might look fresh in morning light, but dull in incandescent light. Color-corrected fluorescent lighting can be helpful.
  • For granite and other countertops, the safest approach is to keep it neutral and versatile. This is a big ticket item that you don't want to replace when the trends shift again.
  • When choosing cabinets, consider the undertones of the wood. Some woods are warmer like pine, or cooler like walnut and a stain can accentuate this even more. In addition, woods like maple can be glazed, tinted or painted for even greater variety.
  • Backsplashes can make a color splash in a big way. In a kitchen, choose the countertop first and then match the backsplash. This follows our rule about selecting the least adaptable element first. There are zillions of tile choices out there, but not quite as many countertops.
  • Reverse the order for the bathroom. Here we go contradicting ourselves. . .but in the bathroom the tile should be selected first. That makes sense if you think about the area tile covers.

There are no rules about what colors are appropriate or not in a kitchen or bathroom, but there are some generalizations. Pink or peach is more flattering to skin tones than is green, so a soft coral is lovely in a bathroom. On the other hand, green contrasts well with wood tones and is a versatile choice for a kitchen. Finally, when nothing else seems to make sense, there's always crisp, clean white.

By: RESTORATION DOCTOR LLC | Created 10/30/2018

Water damage can come from a wide range of plumbing issues. A slab leak, a bathtub overflow, a faulty water heater and more can cause tremendous damage in a short period of time and even pose a structural threat. Sitting water and extended periods of moisture can result in microbial growth and can seep through drywall, collect behind the walls and lead to dangerous mold spreading throughout a home.

 

When it comes to water damage, the first question for most homeowners is where to begin. The first step is take a deep breath. Then, you’ll want to work quickly yet systematically to minimize the damage.

Identify the Source of the Leak

There are many ways leaks are first identified. It is often a noticeable drip or a damp wall or ceiling. However, it can also be subtler, such as an area of the floor that feels unusually warm or the sound of water running through pipes when no faucets are turned on. If you suspect there’s a leak, the first step is to find the source. If it is hidden within a wall or under a floor, it’s wise to call a licensed plumber immediately. Even a small leak in a pipe within a wall or under a floor can result in damage and significant water loss.

Turn Off Water and Electricity from Main Source

In most cases, you’ll have to turn off the water at the main valve until the plumbing issue can be resolved. If there is flooding, also turn off electricity at the source. If you have to stand in water to turn off the electricity, don’t attempt to turn it off. Instead, call an electrician right away.

Evaluate the Damage

Once the water is no longer flowing, you can begin to assess how much repair and cleanup effort will be needed. Before any repair work begins, it’s wise to take plenty of photos and an inventory of damaged items if you’re going to file an insurance claim.

If the water damage is caused by a leak in a pipe, your best bet is to immediately contact a plumber to make the necessary repairs. However, if there is an inundation of water, you also may need to call a water removal company. A certified company follows set procedures to remove water and eliminate the possible health risks of water damage. It’s important to remember that the longer water sits, the worse the damage will be.

Remove Standing Water

If you will be removing standing water yourself, wear protective gear, including rubber boots, globes and a mask or respirator. Make sure to keep children and pets away from any standing water. Small amounts of water often can be removed using a wet-dry shop vacuum.

Dry Out the Area

Flooring, carpet and drywall will likely need to be replaced. Framing behind drywall may also be wet. Industrial fans are often used for several days to dry out structural elements before other repairs can be made.

Along with using fans, open up windows to reduce humidity and remove all wet items from the impacted area, including furniture, rugs, carpet, books and toys. While mold typically cannot be removed from carpet or rugs, other items can sometimes be cleaned and disinfected.

Detect Mold

Once the water has been removed, you can begin to identify visible mold. While it can be easy to spot in some areas, it can also grow in hidden areas, such as air ducts, crawlspaces, between walls and in rafters. Along with looking for patches of mold growth, use your nose to detect any noticeable earthy smell that indicates the likelihood of mold growth. Many homeowners are surprised to learn that mold begins to grow within 24 hours of exposure to moisture and will continue to grow until the moisture is completely removed and the mold is eliminated. In leaks that are undetected for an extended period of time, the mold growth can be substantial and require professional remediation.

Clean Surfaces

Hard surface items that were possibly exposed to mold should be cleaned with a non-ammonia soap and hot water then disinfected with a 10 percent bleach solution. Items with porous surfaces, such as furniture, clothing and bedding are more difficult to disinfect. The safe bet is to throw them out. However, if keeping them is a must, clean them with a pine-oil cleaner and let them dry out completely. Check them for several days after cleaning to ensure mold growth doesn’t return. If mold continues to grow, throw them out.

Preventing Future Water Damage

While it’s not possible to eliminate the risk of all plumbing leaks, there’s much you can do to minimize your chance of one happening again. This begins with fixing faulty plumbing, including leaky pipes, clogged drains and drainage issues. Regularly check washing machine and dishwasher hoses for cracks and your water heater for signs of rust.

It’s also smart to have the phone number of a skilled, professional plumber handy. Plumbing problems often happen at the most inopportune time. By having access to a trusted, quality plumber when you need one, you can eliminate the chance of working with a less-than-qualified provider who may or may not be able to fix your particular problem.

 

By: ADC ALL DESIGN CONCRETE | Created 10/30/2018

Concrete pavers are made from cement and is poured into forms, compressed, and air cured. Concrete can be formed into all sorts of shapes and sizes and pigmented in a wide range of colors.

Advantages of Concrete Pavers:
  • Less Expensive: Concrete pavers are less expensive than brick, due to the lower cost of raw materials.
  • More Choice: Concrete offers far more design and color options than brick. If you can imagine it, you can make it happen with concrete pavers.
  • Innovation: New and better concrete pavers are being designed all the time, so you might even find choices that correct the known downsides of concrete.
  • Easier to Install: Concrete pavers are precisely uniform and easier to cut, so they’re a popular choice for DIY projects.
Disadvantages of Concrete Pavers:
  • Color Can Fade: Since they’re dyed with color pigments rather than natural clay, concrete pavers can fade over time, especially in sunny areas.
  • May Need Sealing: Optional sealants can help prolong the color in concrete pavers but add to maintenance.
  • Surface Erosion: While brick tends to wear by chipping or cracking, concrete wears more gradually, eroding away the smooth finish and exposing more of the aggregate underneath. Over time, the surface of concrete pavers might look worn while brick stays retain their surface.
  • Varying Quality: Concrete varies widely in strength and durability depending on the manufacturer’s recipe, and sometimes it’s hard to know what kind of quality you’re getting. I’ve seen gorgeous concrete pavers that looked like natural stone, and I’ve also worked with cheap ones that crumbled and cracked before I even got started.
  • Shorter Life Span: While initially holding up better to traffic than brick, concrete pavers have a shorter lifespan (a couple of decades vs. generations).
By: SOUTH FLORIDA SEAMLESS GUTTERS | Created 10/30/2018

Your home is subject to the weather and water is harmful when it penetrates your home's exterior envelope. The primary role of gutters is to channel water away from the base of the house where it's likely to collect and find its way inside the foundation. Gutters move rain water away from your home before any problems occur.

 There are many ways that gutters protect your home, including:

  • Without gutters, water can damage landscaping and cause soil erosion around your home.
  • Water hitting dirt close to the house can create a mess when the dirt splashes back against the siding.
  • Concentrated water hitting decks and door entrances can splash back against the house causing high moisture levels which can lead to wood rot.
  • Safety entering and leaving a home may be a problem when people run to avoid a downpour.
  • Falling water may hit windows and leak, causing water damage inside the walls or on interior walls.
  • Rain water may find gaps in the siding, and when trapped behind siding, water can support mold growth and other problems.
  • Repeated exposure to rain water can reduce how long your home's painted surfaces last before they need to be re-painted.

 

Is essential that you keep your gutters clean and free of debris. Otherwise, the misdirected water can cause significant damage to your home over time, such as stained siding, rotting fascia boards, flooded basements, deteriorating landscaping, and even foundation problems.

Don't wait any longer to get rain gutters installed on your home. They will save you money down the road!!!

 

 

 

By: JSF Insurance Agency Inc. | Created 10/30/2018

People look at homeowners insurance as an option, and in reality it should be a necessity. Homeowners insurance will not only leave you stress-free, it will save you money in the long-run. Having insurance for your home will essentially help prepare you for the unexpected.

Here are 4 benefits to having homeowners insurance:

Protect You From Natural Disasters:

Natural disasters occur all the time, and unfortunately you can’t control if it damages your home. With home insurance, you can protect your home from common disasters such as, tornadoes, floods, and fires. Homeowners insurance will pay for repairs and save you a lot of money.

Protect You From Theft:

There is no worst feeling than knowing that someone has broken into your home. Having homeowners insurance will help in these unsettling situations. Home insurance can cover the cost of damages to your home, as well as, theft of possessions.

Protects You Against Lawsuits:

Someone can get hurt on your property. In this instance, they could potentially sue. If something like this happens, you want to be prepared and the best way to do that is by having insurance. Homeowners insurance will protect you against lawsuits by paying for medical bills and paying attorney fees. This will save you a lot of stress and money.

Mortgage Requirement:

If you plan on taking out a mortgage loan, your lender will require that you buy a limited level of insurance in case of a hazard. This is because your house is the lender’s collateral.

Homeowners insurance is not an option, it is a necessity. Check the benefits!!

By: TOP KITCHEN AND GRANITE | Created 10/30/2018

When you’re installing new countertops in your kitchen or bathroom, the number of options available can be daunting. Not only do you have to worry about the style you’re trying to achieve, but you also have to consider what you are going to be using your new custom countertops for. Weigh the options of different countertop styles and the materials to best match form and function.

Granite Countertops

Granite countertops exude elegance in any home. Granite comes in a range of colors and carries a weight that ensures it will last a lifetime.

Quartz and Engineered Stone Countertops

Quartz is an engineered stone available in even more colors than granite! It has a nonporous surface that resists scratching and staining, and is low-maintenance.

Ceramic Tile Countertops

Durable and easy to clean, ceramic tile provides an inexpensive countertop option popular with many homeowners. You can design tile countertops with almost any pattern and/or color scheme.

Laminate Countertops

Laminate countertops are made of synthetics cut to size and finished on the ends. Easy to clean and maintain. Unfortunately, chips or scratches can be very difficult to repair, and seams often show after bonding. 

Wood or Butcher Block Countertops

Hardwoods such as maple or oak are the most common choices for wood counters. While water and stains can damage them over time, wood countertops are easy to clean and can be sanded and resealed as needed.

Marble Countertops

Marble countertops are most often used in small applications such as bathrooms, fireplaces, and insets. Marble requires sealing, but it creates a classic and elegant look.

It can be tough to choose the right countertop with so many materials available on the market. Here are the most popular materials to help you decide.

 

By: CLOSET FACTORY | Created 10/18/2018
Personalized to your needs, we offer hundreds of ways to customize your closet design. Your closet designer will help you select from a wide variety of accessories and elements that enhance your personal style while best conforming to your budgetary requirements. Whether your taste is contemporary, eclectic, or somewhere in between, you are guaranteed to find the finishes, moldings, and embellishments you will love so that we can create a design that’s uniquely yours.
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