Know Proper Swimming Pool Cleaning and Maintenance Tips

When you own a swimming pool, it is great to take a dip in it when the weather is hot. However, you must keep in mind that you will need to observe some proper swimming pool cleaning and maintenance tips. If you don’t properly maintain your swimming pool, it may not take long for it to stink. It will take a few weeks before you learn the right ways in maintaining your swimming pool though.

Besides, it is not an easy task to do so because you are going to do a lot of things. You will need to clean the pool several times in a week but that would depend on how often it gets used. If you often hold pool parties and a lot of people come over then you should remember to clean the pool every now and then. It would be a different story if it only gets used once a month though. Of course, you will need to cover it so leaves won’t land on the pool. If leaves land on the pool, you’re going to be forced to be worried when that happens.

Besides, the leaves will make the pool dirty and you would not want that to happen especially if your kids often use the pool. It won’t be hard to learn the proper swimming pool cleaning and maintenance ways because you can search for them on the Internet. Once you do, you are going to have to implement them immediately. There is no point in wasting time because you would want to take care of your swimming pool.

When the time comes when you would want to sell your house, you will certainly get a great value for it once people see that you have a swimming pool in it. Of course, they would not think too highly of it once they see the swimming pool looks trashy. Yes, it needs to be cleaned often just like all the other appliances and furniture that you own in your house.

It would be very important to have your pool cleaned regularly especially if you use it for laps. After all, it is great to have some kind of exercise while you are in the middle of something awesome. Besides, swimming relieves stress or you can just do some sunbathing when you have time. It is very relaxing that you will forget all the problems you have. You may even think of doing it more often than expected. You can’t blame yourself if you do it right after coming from the office.

Even if the weather is cold, you will still get tempted and nobody would care what you are doing. Better make sure that the pool is clean before you take a dip though. There are times when taking out the leaves for a few minutes will do the trick. Once that is over, you can concentrate on enjoying the pool. If you have no time to clean the pool, you can assign it to a part-time maid. The important thing is the task gets done in a proper and fast manner. Even if it was not accomplished in a fast manner, it would be great if it got done right away. That means you will have nothing to worry about when you get home from work.

The only thing you need to worry about is enjoying the pool all to yourself. Of course, it would be a different story if other people are using it before you. If you have neighbors who also own a swimming pool, then it would be great to get tips from them. If they are nice, they would certainly share some tips with you. Of course, the same can’t be said if they don’t really care about you.

Thus, it would be great to make a lot of friends as much as possible. You are going to use these people as time passes by. You are not going to regret giving the pool the attention that it deserves. If you do that, it will stay clean for a few more years. You will always be tempted to jump in the pool even if you are in your clothes.

4 Reasons to Accomplish Finished Basements

4 Reasons to Accomplish Finished Basements

There is indeed no place like home. Therefore, each part of the house should be taken good care of from the attic down to the kitchen. If there is one thing that is usually ignored, it is the basement. Not a lot of people go there unless you want to bring back old memories. Thus, the basement needs a lot more attention than you originally thought. Here are some reasons why:

Increases Value
Perhaps, the top reason in getting finished basements done in your home is to increase its value. There will come a time when you need to sell it to the highest bidder. You will either need to relocate or renovate your place. If your family is getting bigger then you will need to relocate. Another reason for that is if you want to a spot that is near your job.

Of course, you would want to get a price that is higher than what you expected. Nobody would want to buy your house for your price if its basement looks like nobody has been there for 7 years. The same can’t be said if it looks like it has been taken good care of. You may even get it for a more expensive price. You can expect there to be a lot of bargaining when you’re dealing with.

Welcome Guests
There will come a point when you need to welcome guests into your home. There will be some time when you will need to take them somewhere where they can relax. A basement is a good place where everyone can hang out as long as you put a lot of things in there. Everyone would want to go there if there are games and other stuff to do. The same can’t be said if there are many spider webs and it is very boring.

Finished basements would provide a change of scenery for those who are not used to spending time there. Who knows? Your guests may even like it so much that they would want to spend more time there. There is nothing like making new friends with your neighbors after all.

Lease Space
If you have extra space in your home like the basement, one great idea would be to lease it out. It’s obvious some people would want to save money and live in a good location at the same time. You must ask around to find out the fair price for leasing your basement. Not only will you help someone out, but you will also get an extra income. Of course, you must scan through each person who wants to rent your finished basement. The last thing you would want to happen is to have some of your things go missing.

More Space
When you have more space in your home, you can be creative as to what you want to put in there. If you love games, you can put a console and a TV there and you have your very own game room. When the basement is finished, you can also make it your home gym. Yes, everyone needs to be in tip-top shape so putting a treadmill, a yoga mat and dumbbells to complete your gym.

It is no secret there are so many benefits to having finished basements. Once you are done with your basement, it will only be a matter of time before you have your friends and relatives, do it? In fact, you are going to be motivated to spend more time in your basement which is a good thing because you can do so many great things there. It is possible to experiment with a lot of things you have never done and nobody will ever know about it.

Your basement is like a secret lair so better spread the word about how it can be used properly. It is true how some people treat the basement as a place where you can just dump old things. That is not the best way to treat it because it is a place where you can spend quality time with good people. It may take a while to finish your basement but it is going to be worth it when it is done.

All About Hardwood Floors

All About Hardwood Floors

For centuries, hardwood floors have remained homeowners’ favorite flooring choice. Hardwood floors are actually the most beautiful focal points of a house. There are different types of wood so you choose the one that pleases you. You can get then finished in just any color you like. These floors are traffic resistant and durable with proper maintenance and care. Continue reading this article to find out why you should consider hardwood floors in the first place and how you should care for them. 

Advantages of hardwood floors

Aesthetics: you cannot deny the beauty of hardwoods no matter what. Hardwoods represent nature in all its glory. Besides, you can refinish the hardwood floor with any color, thus adding more beauty.

Maintenance: as soon as you get that hardwood floor installed, you’ll discover how easy it is to clean and maintain. Hardwoods have special properties that make them dirt resistant. It’s amazing how stains don’t tick on hardwood floors. Ad what more? Hardwood floors don’t fade, unlike other floors. They retain their color for a very long time. 

Health: the fact that hardwoods don’t trap dirt makes them a healthy choice for everyone. You’ll have fresher and cleaner air in the house and this is especially important for people with respiratory problems or allergies and to young children whose immune system is not strong yet.

Versatility: hardwoods some of the most versatile gifts of nature, you’ll barely find any two hardwoods that look the same. This means that every house, depending on the wood chosen, will have a unique look as far as the floor is concerned.

Durability: hardwoods, just as the name describes, are hard and sturdy. This characteristic makes them resistant to scratches and dents, which may occur anytime as you carry on your daily procedure in the house. When you accidentally drop something on the floor, the hardwood floor remains as fine as it was. Besides, this kind of floor can withstand very heavy furniture that other floors might not contain. 

Caring for hardwood floors 

1. Cleaning regularly 

Cleaning your hardwood on a regular basis is important to remove the dust and dirt and any other form of dirt. Knowing how to clean hardwoods is the most important thing. You can sweep off dusty areas on a weekly basis or on any other day that you have an event that leaves the area dusty.

You might prefer vacuuming to sweeping because vacuuming pulls all the dust and dirt in between the boards. When you need in-depth cleaning, you should use a method that is appropriate. There are products that are specifically designed for hardwood cleaning. 

2. Refinishing

If you have a shabby hardwood floor, the best improvement you can do is to refinish the floor. With refinishing, you begin by removing furniture and drapes in the house. You then move on to repairing and sealing any vents in the room so that dust doesn’t spread in the room. Once you are done, complete by polishing and cleaning the dust that had got into the room from the floor and then reapplying the sealer. 

3. Ongoing protection 

In as much as regular cleaning, repairing, and refinishing are important maintenance activities, there are other protective measures you should take to preserve the aesthetic value of your hardwood floor:

– On areas with high traffic and the areas with regular spills, you need to use mats and area rugs. However, you need to move these rugs on a regular basis to ensure that the areas you’ve covered remain the same color with the exposed area. Cotton rugs are the best because they don’t trap water inside them which can destroy your floor. 

– If anything spills on your floor, clean it up with a dry cloth or paper towel. A sticky spill can be wiped using dumb clothing but then the area must be dried immediately with another dry cloth

– If you have pets in the house, ensure that their nails are always trimmed. They can scratch and destroy your hardwood floor. 

– If you have high heeled shoes, keep them in good shape else they’ll form gorges on your floor. Stilettos are also not compatible with hardwood floors.

– Do not drag furniture or other items when moving them. Lift them gently to avoid gorges and scratches. 

Conclusion

Hardwood floors have great advantages to offer. With proper care and maintenance, the floor will maintain its beauty and enhance the décor of your house.

For more detailed in site on selecting a contractor or understanding the process of selecting the floor that’s good for your home, browse articles at LOCAL HARDWOOD FLOORS.

Benefits of Landscape Design

Benefits of Landscape Design

Are you worried about a professional landscape design of your home costing too much? 

While some of us don’t see the importance of landscape design, there are some who appreciate the value landscaping brings to their property. Just like with any home improvement project, a landscape designing project needs a lot of planning. 

You might feel overwhelmed as you begin but in the long run, you will see it’s importance and why it’s worth your extra work.

Besides giving your residential or commercial property a beautiful and refreshing appearance, landscaping allows you to put into use the extra spaces in your yard. In fact, landscaping goes beyond creating beautiful scenery around your property. If you are contemplating if landscaping is a good project for your home or business premises, consider the following benefits offered by landscape designing.

1. Landscape Designing is a Way of Connecting with nature

Are you a fan of nature? Do you like seeing the wonders of nature? If so, then you should try landscaping. Since you might not have time to go out for a vacation due to your busy work schedule, coming home to a beautiful and relaxing landscape can offer you a temporary retreat if well planned. A beautiful lush green yard in your home can be a perfect place to spend your afternoons with your loved ones during weekends. The advantage of it is you will relax and enjoy in your own home without spending a penny. 

2. Protects Natural Wildlife

A well-planned landscape design should consider your yard’s existing inhabitants – may it be birds or natural insects. Your landscape design should protect these wonderful creatures but not chase them away.

3. Enhances the quality of life

Your yard can be a perfect outdoor within your home. You don’t need to step out of your compound to enjoy a calm, relaxing experience. Instead, you can design your landscape and relax there while reading your favorite book. During hot days, your yard can be the best place to spend and unwind alone or with your loved ones and friends. 

4. Balancing natural with man-made

Landscaping is a way if creating balance between man-made design elements such as paving materials and water feature installations, and natural landscape. You can increase your yard’s natural beauty by carefully choosing outdoor features to create or install.

5. Landscaping Allows You to Turn unused spaces of Your Compound to Functional Areas

By landscaping, you can give a makeover to that side yard and backyard that have been unused for many years, or have been home to a pile of twigs or old furniture. You can either plant grass or install outdoor furnishings to make the space functional.

6. Landscaping can Define Perfect Entertainment Areas

You can bring order to your backyard by designing it for specific activities – from dining and cooking to dining to roasting. Instead of partying indoors, you can take parties outdoors and enjoy what your home has to offer whether during the day or night.

7. Landscaping can Boost The Value for Your Property

Landscaping is very important if you are looking to sell your home or property in the future. Facilities and features that maximize the use of both outdoor and indoor spaces make properties more appealing for buyers.

8. Landscaping Can Help Achieve A New, Easy-care Look

A well-executed landscape design will encourage you to relax outdoors more than indoors while spending less money and time on maintenance.

Working with Landscape Design Contractors

Do the expenses prevent you from designing your landscape? Well, it’s okay for you to feel uncomfortable talking to your contractor about your budget range. However, you should discuss the amount you are planning to spend with your contractor to help the contractor know which options are available to you. 

Your landscape design contractor can actually create a layout that works within the range of budget you have set.

When hiring a contractor to design your yard’s landscape, you should ensure they are qualified for the job. They should be experienced, licensed and reputable. You might want to ask him to show pictures of their previous work or refer you to his previous customers. If the contractor has a website, don’t hesitate to check customer reviews on the contractor’s services.

Benefits of Hiring a Professional Home Painter

Benefits of Hiring a Professional Home Painter

If you’re a homeowner, then you might need a professional painter at some point in time. You may be in need of changing the face of your home or even you may have a new house that you want to be painted. At this point, you’ll need a professional who is well experienced and has the appropriate tools for the job. Doing it by yourself isn’t recommended because you might end up spending more after doing a pathetic job and later calling a professional to do it again. Below are the top reasons why you need to hire a professional home painter instead of doing it by yourself:

1. Experience

A professional home painter has several years of experience within the industry and understands the different challenges that occur during the painting process and how to overcome them. Hiring a professional painter also helps to save both money and time. The expert also knows the exact equipment needed for the job. So you won’t incur any additional costs on making arrangement to get the necessary tools such as buckets, ladders, drop sheets, rollers among others. 

2. Guarantee

When you leave your painting job to a professional painter, then you will get a guarantee for the work. The expert uses the required skills in painting and you won’t have any issues of concern regarding how your property is painted. In case there’s some part of your house that has been left unpainted, you just have to call them and no extra fee and get the part painted. 

3. Safety

Painting walls at the top sometimes can be risky especially if you lack the skills on doing it appropriately. Additionally, there are some solvents and chemicals that used in painting. In the process, if you aren’t an expert, you might get serious health issues or even get injuries and other body harms when for instance you fall off the ladder. Avoid all these hazards by simply hiring a professional home painter. 

4. Quality products

A professional home painter will use quality and standard products and materials in the project. You won’t have any troubles in future regarding the quality of service you’ve received. You’ll really get your value for money.

5. Innovative ideas

Professional home painters are always creative. Due to their years of experience in house painting, they normally come up with some innovative ideas which give your property a sure-fire curb appeal. You can easily change the face or look of your home if you hire a professional painter. 

These are some of the top reasons for hiring a professional home painter. Some people will decide to undertake their painting projects on their own with the aim of saving some money which is literally not true because they’ll have to buy all the tools and products required. Also, the DIY painting may just waste your resources and end up calling a professional to start the job from the beginning in order to get the required look. Simply hire an expert and avoid such mistakes that will end up taking away your hard earned cash.

Hire a Licensed Painter
If you want to repaint your residential or commercial house or just want to paint some of the rooms in your home, it’s important to find a trusted and licensed painter or even a company that provides such services. In fact, looking randomly on the internet is not the best idea. Also, even if you hire a professional, and you’re not able to find out how reliable and experienced they are, you will most likely not get your expected results.

Some “companies” are actually a group of two or three colleagues or friends who worked together for another company. It’s not like going for this type of painters is a wrong idea, but if the company you intent to hire doesn’t have license to operate, or a good portfolio, it’s a good idea to avoid them. Working with a licensed company will assure you of quality work and also insurance in case anything happens. 

A company that is not licensed is either a scam or provides poor services. Nobody wants to pay for poor services. So ask the company for their licensing information if they haven’t provided in their website. By doing this you will be safe. 

Hiring House Painting Professional Services

Hiring House Painting Professional Services

With a professional, homeowners know they are getting the very best the field has to offer. Trained in the ins and outs of the craft, these professional contractors will be able to provide a level of service unmatched by even the more savvy amateur painters. When it comes to paining, homeowners should stop at nothing to ensure their paint job is the best on the block.

A house painting contractor will help to ensure that homeowners get the most out of their painting projects. A well-painted house will turn any remodeling endeavor into a beautiful creation. The exterior painting of a house will do wonders to improve the quality of the rest of the projects in a remodel. This ensures that things come together nicely and the work that went into creating the remodel is put to good use. With a house painting contractor, homeowners know they are in good hands and are able to sit back and relax a bit.

They may also choose to focus on other projects that may not need the expertise and training of a professional. Handling these smaller tasks may help to get things moving faster and get the remodel done as quickly as possible. When things are moving forward like this, the homeowner is able to enjoy the finished product sooner. A house painting contractor will help to ensure the exterior painting, one of the most important aspects of any home improvement endeavor, is done right and in a timely fashion. After all, nobody enjoys delays to their project.

When to hire pro to paint your house?

If your home needs painting services, you may be wondering if this is a home improvement task you should take on yourself. While you definitely could save some money doing it yourself, there are times when it is definitely best to leave that job to the pros. Before you get out there and start that painting job on your own, here is a look at some of the times when you should just pay the extra money and allow the pros to take the job over.

You Have a Very Tall Home

One time when you may want to leave the house painting to the pros is when you have a very tall home. While a one story home isn’t that difficult to paint yourself, if you have a two or three story home, this can get a lot more difficult for do-it-yourselfers. Very tall homes can be difficult to paint and can require the use of scaffolding, which you don’t have. Don’t try just getting out there on a ladder and doing the job. This is one time a pro should be hired to take care of the job.

Intricate Designs

Are there intricate designs on your home? This is another time that you may want to let the pros take over the painting job. If you have a home that is very ornate, all those nooks and crannies can be difficult to reach with just a ladder. The right equipment is needed to deal with delicate detailing, especially if it is pretty high up. You probably do not have the patience to deal with intricate designs either, so just go ahead and pay someone to do this.

Difficult Prep Work

Take a look at your home and figure out how much prep work is needed before a paint job can even be done. You may have mildew, wood rot, cracked window panes, glaze that is crumbling, and more. If you have these problems, you’ll need more time to complete the job on your own and you may not even be able to take care of all these things yourself. This is when a pro can definitely help out. A professional painter can take care of this difficult prep work for you when they do the paint job.

Homes with Lead Paint

If you have a home that has lead paint on it, this is one more time when it’s a job best left for the pros. Homes that were build back before 1978 may have lead paint on them. There are special procedures for removing and handling this type of paint, so allow the pros to take care of it for you so you don’t expose yourself to the dangers that this type of paint can have.

5 Things to Know Before Hiring A Home Improvement Contractor

5 Things to Know Before Hiring A Home Improvement Contractor

You’ve got a big home improvement project in mind, which you think would be best handled by a professional. Before you sign on that dotted line, take some time to read through this post to see if your chosen contractor meets the criteria.

Identify the project

Clearly identify the home improvement project you want done. Take the time to do your own research on the current range of estimated costs. Writing down the specific things you want the contractor to do also helps particularly during the initial discussion process.

Inquire and get bids from different contractors

Ask your family, friends, and colleagues for their recommendations. Do appropriate background checks with regards to their service to guarantee that they won’t leave you high and dry.

I would recommend that you get estimated bids from at least 4 contractors for the cost and duration of the project. This will allow you to better compare their services and determine if they will be able to deliver within your desired time frame.

Set boundaries for the working hours and job site

Provide the contractor with a set of ground rules that should be followed. If the workers need to have access to your home, require the contractor to provide you with a background check and list of authorized workers assigned to the project.

Get the final project cost

Now that you’ve chosen the contractor for your home improvement project, ask them for a final breakdown of the project cost. In the event that you were charged a proposal bid fee, make sure that this gets deducted from the final cost unless otherwise stated in the proposal bid contract.

Pay attention to the final contract details

As they say, it’s all in the details. Your final contract is binding so be sure that you have read it thoroughly and that all your verbal agreements are written in ink. Don’t be afraid to inform the contractor if you find something written in the contract that is different from what you agreed upon. 

How to Create an Accent Tile Backsplash Using Dollar Store Gems

How to Create an Accent Tile Backsplash Using Dollar Store Gems

Learning how to create a beautiful accent tile backsplash on your bathroom or kitchen sink using dollar store gems is quite easy and budget-friendly.

You’ll need:

Bags of gems available in dollar stores
Grout
Grout applicator
Clean dry cloth or rag
Clean wet cloth or rag
Rubber gloves

Procedure:

Purchase 2 or more bags of dollar store gems in the color that you want, depending on the size of the area you’ll be decorating.

The grout you’ll be purchasing can be ready-to-apply or if you are on a budget, you can choose one that requires you to prepare it on your own. In case you didn’t purchase ready-to-apply grout, simply follow the manufacturer’s instructions and you’re good.

Prepare the surface are where you will be applying the grout by making sure that it is free of grease and dust.

Wear the rubber gloves.

Using the grout applicator, evenly apply a thin amount of grout on the wall making sure that it can firmly hold the gems. If you are not sure of the thickness, apply a small amount of grout on the tile with your desired thickness then attach 1-2 gems by firmly pressing them onto the grout.

Continue applying the grout and the gems one section at a time. Take note that there is no hard and fast rule when it comes to the pattern. You are only limited by your imagination.

Once you have completely covered the area that you wish to decorate, allow it to dry for 1-2 hours.

Reapply the grout, making sure that all spaces in-between the gems are covered. Leave it to partially dry for 30 minutes.

Using a clean wet cloth, gently wipe the excess grout so the gems will show through.

Congratulations! You’re all done, and you now have a beautiful sink accent in either your bathroom or kitchen. 

Wood Cabinets – How to Strip and Stain

Wood Cabinets – How to Strip and Stain

You can easily spend a weekend to give your wood cabinets a fresh look by following these simple steps.

Materials needed

Paint stripper
Wood stain
Paint brush, 1-1/2 inch
Sponge
Metal scraper or putty knife
Drop cloth
Sandpaper, 100-grit attached to a hand block
Clean disposable cloth or rag
Rubber gloves
Screwdriver
Safety goggles
Particulate mask
Replacement handles (optional)

Procedure

Place drop cloth in a well-ventilated area.

Remove all the cabinet doors and drawers. Using the screwdriver, remove the hardware from the cabinet doors and drawers. Place all items on top of the drop cloth.

Wear the rubber gloves, safety goggles, and particulate mask.

Paint a light coat of the stripper paint onto the front of the drawer, cabinet face, or front of the cabinet door. Don’t apply the stripper paint to everything all at once. Do this one at a time.

Allow the stripper paint to work its magic for 10-15 minutes before gently removing the original lacquer with the metal scraper. Work in one direction.

Once all of the lacquer has been removed, sand the surfaces using sandpaper.

To obtain a consistent look, re-sand the surfaces making sure that you are sanding parallel to the wood grain. If the stain you chose is lighter than the existing stain, you would need to sand of the stain as well.

Apply the stain to the cabinets using a sponge, one area at a time, to achieve a wet look. Wipe off excess using a dry cloth.

Allow the stain to dry for about 1-2 hours.

If you plan to change the cabinet door and front drawer handles, it would best to do this after the stain has completely dried and before you re-attach the doors to the cabinet.

Don’t worry about the insides of your drawers or cabinet. You can skip refinishing those since they will not be on display unlike the cabinet face, cabinet door, and front drawer.