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Kitchen Renovation

Avoid Costly Problems This Winter

Imagine sitting in a cozy recliner in front of a crackling fire and sipping hot cocoa. Then, just as you reach complete relaxation, you feel a chill from a cold draft under the door. This moment of winter discomfort could have been prevented with the proper maintenance.
Inspecting your home on a regular basis and keeping it properly maintained throughout every season is the best way to protect your home. A regular schedule of seasonal repairs can put a stop to the most common (and costly) problems before they occur.
You don’t have to be a seasoned do-it-yourselfer. Some of the maintenance and repairs to your home may be easily accomplished with the use of a maintenance book or manual from your local library. For unfamiliar or difficult jobs, it is best to consult a professional.
Proper care and maintenance of your home helps provide a healthy and safe environment for your family, while preserving its value. It’s the biggest investment you’ll ever make!
Here are home maintenance tips for January and February:
JANUARY
Your household appliances probably got quite a workout during the recent holiday season. Now is the time to get them back in shape.
Drip pans on most stoves can be removed and put in a dishwasher for cleaning. For stubborn stains use a scouring pad, or replace the pans altogether. Clean underneath range hood. Remove and clean or replace range hood filters.
Self clean your oven and get rid of all those splatters from holiday cooking. To clean porcelain stovetops or glass range/oven control panels use a non-abrasive cleanser or glass cleaner. Be careful of “cream type” cleansers as they often have tiny abrasive particles in them, which can damage your stovetop or control panel.
Use a vacuum with a narrow nozzle to clean condenser coils on the back or underneath your refrigerator.
Clean refrigerator door seals so they don’t get stuck to the door frame and tear. Use an old toothbrush and a little soap and water to clean in all the nooks and crannies. Use a bit of bleach for any mold growth.
Repair worn dishwasher rack tines to prevent rust pieces from ruining the pump. Clean the rusted spots on the dishwasher rack with sandpaper to make the repair last longer.
FEBRUARY
As you snuggle in front of a cozy fire or bask in the warmth of your wood stove, you are taking part in a ritual of comfort and enjoyment handed down through the centuries. However, if you don’t give some thought to the condition of your chimney before you light those winter fires, your enjoyment may be very short-lived. Why? Dirty chimneys can cause chimney fires.
Have your solid fuel venting system inspected annually, and have it cleaned and repaired whenever needed.
Use seasoned woods only (dryness is more important than hard wood versus soft wood considerations). Build smaller, hotter fires that burn more completely and produce less smoke. Never burn cardboard boxes, wrapping paper, trash or Christmas trees; these can spark a chimney fire.
Install stovepipe thermometers to help monitor flue temperatures where wood stoves are in use, so you can adjust burning practices as needed.
Have the chimney inspected and cleaned on a regular basis.
The Chimney Safety Institute of America recommends that you call on certified chimney sweeps, since they are regularly tested on their understanding of the complexities of chimney and venting systems.…

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Basement Remodeling

Tips To Avoid A Home Improvement Nightmare

Are you looking to start a home improvement project? If you feel afraid or confused when it comes to home improvement, continue reading this article. Many people experience this, but you’ll find some helpful hints here. This article is packed with ideas, inspiration and motivation. Read on!

Get motivated by making improvements you love. You will enjoy your home much more if it reflects who you are.

If an interior designer is too expensive for you, do some research to do the job yourself. Try some websites, books and magazines for some help. Magazines can offer you some ideas for layouts to use in your home. Many magazines also offer tips on how to cut costs on home improvement projects.

For a simple, low-cost way to improve your bathroom’s appearance, install new, coordinating metal fixtures. You can buy bathroom fixtures such as towel racks and cabinet knobs in all kinds of different styles. You can often find all of these things as part of one entire package. No need for matching and these sets are easy to incorporate into your bathroom.

You can improve your basement by staining the floor. It is cheaper to stain a concrete floor than it is to replace one, and the look can be very trendy. Stained concrete is also easier to keep clean, as it is less porous. A glossy stain is always a great choice. It increases the value of the room to the eye, too.

If you think your water has lost pressure, you can easily diagnose the issue. First, ask your neighbors to see if they are experiencing the same issue. If they are not having the issue, it is somewhere in your pipes. Compare pressure from one faucet to another to figure out where the problem comes from. You may just need to adjust an aerator, but if the problem seems more complex, it’s best to hire a professional.

Give your home improvements a personal touch, but don’t make your home stand out drastically from others in your neighborhood. You don’t need to be the one resident living with a home that has an attached tower. This will make things difficult if you ever want to sell the place.

If you don’t want to spend hours working on your lawn or hire someone to do it, consider installing a yard that is low maintenance. Avoid grass and instead install gravel and plants which need little care. These choices will reduce your time and cost in maintaining it.

Make sure the contractor you hire is properly insured, when doing any remodeling project to your house. It can be difficult to get money out of an uninsured contractor that damages your home. You can ask for papers to make sure that the contractor is insured.

Home improvement isn’t that hard. It can be quite some work, but you can do it. Some home improvement jobs are simple and easy. After reading the above article, you should be able to complete many home improvement projects.…