Recent Entries

How Often Should You Recaulk Your Bathroom?

bathroom

 

Depending on your lifestyle preferences, your bathroom may be purely functional and utilitarian, while others prefer to create a relaxing oasis. Regardless of how your bathroom space is used, many components need to be maintained to ensure its continued function and safety. One of the major elements this includes is bathroom caulking.

 

The main questions is: How do you know when it is time to re-caulk?

 

What exactly is caulk?

 

Caulk is a flexible, thick, adhesive type of material that acts as both a sealant and a glue. This is applied across joint that are exposed with the use of a caulking fun. This material cures as it is applied.

 

Caulk is used for a variety of reasons, such as:

 

  • Along faucets and sinks
  • Around the height of the tub where the tile meets
  • Where the tile meets the ceiling
  • All around the bathtub and its joints
  • Along bathtub faucets and shower heads
  • Where the bathtub meets the floor
  • Where the vanity meets the backsplash
  • Along the top of the backsplash where it meets the wall

 

How long does caulk last?

 

As a general rule of thumb, caulk has a life span of about five years. A number of things can affect the actual time of replacement including; the quality of caulk that was applied, the way that it was applied, condition of the surface at the time of the application, any pre-existing mildew or mold, intense humidity levels, as well as cleaning practices.

 

Signs That it is Time to Recaulk

 

Regardless of how carefully you take care of your bathroom or the quality of materials that you use, your caulking will need to be replaced at some time. But how do you know when this time is?

 

Look for these telltale signs:

 

  • It is older than five years.
  • It cracked or dried out
  • Caulk is missing or peeling
  • There is mildew or mold beneath the surface.

 

If you experience any of these signs within the first 12 months, the caulk used may not have designed for bathroom use.

 

Energy Efficiency for Older Homes

home-energy

 

If you live in a home that is consider to be older or even historic, then you are familiar with energy efficiency challengers.

 

If you struggle with keeping your older home energy efficiency, follow these energy saving tips!

 

Get a Home Energy Audit

 

The purpose of a home energy audit it to assess just how much energy your uses and identify areas of improvement. An independent audit is often the best way to go because it is purely informative and the auditor is not focused on selling a product.

 

Start Small

 

After you receive your energy diagnosis, you will know exactly areas you can address to ensure energy savings. Here are some ideas to get you started:

 

  • Purchase thick curtains to help insulate your windows
  • Add weather stripping to windows and doors
  • Insulate plumbing and your hot water heater
  • Install shower head that are low-flow
  • Add insulation to your attic and basement

 

Replace Your Windows

 

If you notice your home feeling draughty or just feel like heat and cool air escapes too quickly, it might be time to get your windows replaced. If you can, upgrade to double-paned windows. These feature and insulating pocket of air and can increase your energy efficiency up to 50% than single-paned windows!

 

Energy efficiency may seem like an uphill battle in your older home, but just know that you are not alone! Plenty of people deal with homes that are less than energy efficient on a daily basis. The best thing that you can do is slowly address areas of concerns. Little efforts can often go a long way with energy efficiency!

 

If you want to know areas where your home can improve, don’t wait! Get a professional audit today and start your journey towards energy efficient living.

 

 

Boosting Your Home’s Value through Landscaping

Whether you are looking to sell your home or just striving towards maintaining your home’s natural beauty, a little bit of TLC on your home’s landscaping can go a long way. Having a well-maintained yard lets potential buyers know that you pay attention to details in and outside of your home.

 

Here are some easy and strategic tips on maintaining a sharp landscape all year long.

 

Keeping up with you weeds and watering. If performed on a daily and weekly basis, this does not require a lot of time. Sleep on either one and you will learn the consequences. Every couple of days in addition to keeping your grass green, take measures to keep your weeds at bay. If you keep up with this your outdoor tasks will seem less daunting as time goes on.

Landscaping

 

Trees add value. In many cases, adding some additional trees on your property can actually boost your home’s sale from 10% to 15%. People tend to view trees as an eco-friendly and attractive addition to the house. If you have trees on your property, make sure that you keep up with proper trimming maintenance.

 

Utilizing shrubs and flowers sporadically. Planting this season’s plants and flowers can give your yard that small uplift that it needs. If you’d like more flexibility, scatter potted plants around your yard. If it makes sense, plant a few shrubs that are low maintenance, but can provide your yard some seclusion and privacy.

 

Consider xeriscaping. This can save you on your overall water expenses every few months. Having your soil fortified with manure and compost is the key to balancing your water retention. Consider a heavy layer of mulch for added absorption in your yard.

 

Think about every season. If you live in an area of the country that experiences all four seasons, consider plants and flowers that are going to look good no matter what temperature you might be experiencing outside. This might mean changing up your landscape season-to-season or utilizing more flexible aesthetic solutions.

 

Landscaping doesn’t need to cost you a fortune. If you’re interested in making some small changes that can go a long way in improving your home’s aesthetic value, consider these simple steps along with your regular outdoor maintenance.

How Do I Care For My New Granite Countertops?

What is Granite?

Granite is a hard stone formed from volcanic magma. Because of its hardness and durability, granite is a popular building stone and for use in homes. Granite ranges in beautiful natural colors. In order to preserve your granite countertops natural beauty, its necessary to protect it as you would any other home investment.

Basic Cleaning

Regular maintenance or cleaning on your granite countertop should be performed with a microfiber cloth. Spills from acidic substances like fruit juices, coffee, and wine should be cleaned up immediately. This won’t etch the granite-like it may with marble countertops, but there is a possibility of them staining the surface.

At least once a week, wipe down your granite countertops using a stoner cleaner specially formulated with neutral PH levels and a damp cloth. Avoid high-grade chemical cleaners as well as abrasive cloths or pads. Harsh cleaners can often scratch or mark the stone permanently, while regular soap can cause a build-up and reduce countertop shine.

If any oily stains have soaked into the surface, make a poultice out of baking soda, flour, dish soap, and water. This should be a very creamy consistency similar to that of yogurt. Place directly over the stain with plastic wrap and leave overnight. Gently rinse and dry thoroughly.

Seasonal Maintenance

Granite countertops should be sealed regularly. If you’re not sure if your countertops are ready for their seasonal sealing, splash water onto the surface. Observe if the water beads up or flows freely. If the water no longer beads then it’s time to reseal your countertops.

Your countertops should be examined at least once a year. Inspect areas to ensure that there is no shifting or cracking near the seams, inspect for scratches and stains. If you notice any damage to your countertops, contact a professional for repair. Delaying treatment can lead to more expensive costs or even the need for a replacement if ignored. These daily and seasonal care steps help to keep your granite countertops in like new condition while preserving the quality and longevity of your investment!

What’s more in, wide plank or narrow plank flooring?

As you survey different options of hardwood flooring, there are a lot of details to contemplate – colors, wood types, cost, etc. Another consideration is the style and width of plank hardwood flooring. The width and style has a tremendous impact on the look and feels or your remodeling project.
With that in mind, we’ve put together this simple guide to help you decide what’s best for you; wide plank hardwood or narrow plank hardwood.
Wide Plank Hardwood vs. Narrow Plank Hardwood –
Plank is just one type of hardwood floor style, along with parquet, strip, and others. Plank floors are typically boards between three and eight inches of width. Narrow plank board is considered towards the lower end of that spectrum while wide planks are on the higher end. Besides their width, they are essentially the same.
Wide Plank Flooring
Wide plank flooring is considered the oldest type of hardwood flooring, and this continues to give a classic rustic feel today. Since these type of boards are wider, wide plank flooring tends to show off more of the wood’s grain and other signature details such as knots.
Although the overall cost of wide plank flooring is cheaper than that of narrow planks, it is somewhat harder to get a tight fit between the boards. This is not recommended for smaller spaces, as it can make a room feel more cramped.
Narrow Plank Flooring
Narrow plank flooring is often used in rooms that have a contemporary or modern feel. This works particularly well in small space that needs to be opened up. Although narrow plank flooring tends to be easier to maintain, the installation of a higher number of boards means that the cost of labor and materials is much higher than wide plank flooring.

So which type of flooring is more “in”?

Your flooring decision is based off a variety of factors, such as room type, use of space, as well as the size of your space. Many homeowners and businesses alike are opting for random widths. This actually involves the use of planks that are either 4” to 6” inches in width or 6” to 8” inches in width. Random widths are increasingly growing in popularity today because of its unique appeal and versatility with almost any room or style.

Do I Really Need A Sink in My Island?

Many homeowners view islands sinks as luxurious and convenient, but is it practical?

 

Before making the decision to install a sink in your kitchen island, first consider if it reasonably possible. Hooking up plumbing to your island is often tricky and can require extra pumps and extractors. This could mean heavy up-front costs and could lead to costly repairs down the road if you ever run into any issues. Keep in mind your initial budget as well as maintenance set aside for your kitchen down the road.

Sink

One of the most important things to keep in mind when you are considering your kitchen island features is how you utilize your kitchen space. Will your kitchen island be used for entertaining guests, or do you enjoy the extra space for meal preparation? If your kitchen island is long and wide enough, you can usually enjoy the benefits of both. But if your island adds valuable or necessary space to your kitchen, installing a sink may be more of a nuisance than a convenience.

 

Although kitchen island sinks can add a great deal of convenience, it’s important to keep in mind all of the other, and less favorable, things that go in/around the sink. Guests of your island may have a front seat row of your dirty dishes, sponges and dish soap. This usually means that you have to keep not only the countertops and dishes but the sink itself virtually clean all the time. This day-to-day maintenance could add unnecessary pressure for your family and entertaining guests.

Kitchen islands are a unique and aesthetic way to add more counter space to your kitchen area, and a sink adds to its appealing convenience. But don’t be fooled, a sink in your kitchen island is not always a necessary, and could leave you with more work and less space than desired.

Four Tips to Avoid DIY Home Improvement Disasters and Mistakes

Everything seems so easy when watching some of those home improvement shows every week. One of the things homeowners are often told is that they can take a quick trip to a hardware or home improvement store and get back and fix whatever problems they have in their house. Those who have once tried the DIY learning curve will tell it’s not one of those simple tasks that you’d want to undertake. It’s a steep curve and you better get the professionals to fix your problem.

Although it might be possible for homeowners to undertake some DIY projects, the truth is that some home improvement projects can end up costing more money than when a professional was involved. Here are tips that can help you prevent DIY Disasters.

Know when to Contact the Professionals

Whether you’re dealing with a simple plumbing problem or you noticed a roof leak, you should never handle anything you’re not comfortable handling. Maybe you should always start by weighing out the costs of hiring a professional for the project versus purchasing specialized tools for attempting the project yourself. At times, you might be thinking of doing it yourself when it’s cheaper hiring a pro. Some of the tasks to leave for the professionals include, replacing windows, roof repairs, plumbing, structural changes and electrical work.

Check your Permits

In some States and Cities across the country, homeowners are required to apply for some documentation before they undertake some projects. It could appear like a small remodeling project but it’s a serious offense to undertake it yourself without a permit. Find out with your local authorities whether you need a permit before starting your DIY project.

Focus on Safety

Whether you believe you’re a capable builder or you feel you don’t need a professional, safety should always be your top priority. It’s almost impossible to know when an accident will occur while undertaking a project. You better hire a professional to stay safe and avoid unplanned medical costs.

Calculate the Real Cost

Every homeowner attempting a DIY project is usually motivated by the fact that they want to save money. You just wake up in the morning and head to the store to purchase supplies or parts without having to work with a contractor. While this might seem like a better deal, it’s always important to calculate the real cost first. Some home improvement projects can be more costly when handled by a homeowner than when working with a professional. Find out how much it will cost you to undertake the DIY project and compare with what you’d be paying a professional to handle the project.