Make your Garage Door Stand Out

Imagine yourself driving or walking towards your home and seeing your home looking great from the street – isn’t it satisfying? One area that steals the attention from the exterior of your home is your garage door. Maintaining it, or better, giving it a makeover will do a lot for the overall look of your home!

Ways to make your Garage Door Stand Out

Choose the perfect design that will fit your home

There are 3 common styles for a Garage Door; Traditional, Contemporary and Carriage House. Make sure to choose the style that will go with the design of your whole house. Here’s a quick description of each style:

Contemporary Garage Door – This is famous for a modern looking house. With that simple and minimalist design because of its clean lines and functional details.

Traditional Garage Door – This is usually manufactured with Steel or Wood and with a roll-up mechanism and horizontal, hinged panels.

Carriage House Garage Door – This door usually has hinges and multi-pane windows. A common design is that of a barn door.

 

Consider the materials to be used

Prioritize also in checking the materials for its durability, maintenance, and price. There are various materials to choose from like Wood, Steel, Metal or Aluminum. The most commonly chosen material is Steel because of its price, quality, low maintenance and its style.

 

Paint it

Choose a color that will complement your whole house. You can experiment on the color by making it contrasting from your house so it would stand-out. Choose from making it lighter or darker. But be sure to be considerate and pick a color that would still neutralize the garage doors and not make your neighbors cringe!

 

Add some outdoor lights

Having lights outside your garage door has an extra benefit. It just doesn’t make your garage better looking but it’s also good for safety measures. You can choose either from ground lights or Up Lights. This is a great way to improve the look instantly and brighten up your home!

 

Add other accessories

There are decorative handles and hinges, potted plants, trellis or anything that adds texture. Just don’t get overwhelmed with displaying a lot of accessories and remember to keep the balance so it won’t look like you are trying hard to draw attention.

 

Maintain and Keep it Working

As days, weeks, months and years go by, like almost everything, the garage door is prone to get old and rickety. Whenever a problem occurs regarding your garage door, always hire professional garage door technicians who are trusted and can do the job effectively and efficiently.

 

Try experimenting with other things you can do with your garage door. There are a number of ways to spruce up that door and make it even more attractive! You’ll love staying in and seeing people stop and stare in front of your home admiring what they are seeing. Improving the way it looks is just as important as its functionality.

 

KEEPING IN THE HEAT

These days of frigid cold, it becomes more important and financially significant to do as much as you can to keep the heat in the house. Weatherproofing is the answer and there are many things the do-it-yourselfer can do. Some are easy, some require a little more effort. Most of our time is spent servicing our heating systems. That doesn’t help if the heat it produces leaves the house. We generally ignore the easy things like leaky doors and windows. And the attention you give to these things can reap a rich reword from a small investment.

Let’s start with doors and windows. Why? Because a significant energy loss occurs through leaks. I suggest you start outside. Pay attention to where different materials are joined. For example, look at where siding meets the window frames. Usually there is caulking at these joints but caulking dries up and cracks after a while. One of the easiest things you can do is go around to all the windows – start with the ground floor first – and recaulk them. You need a ladder to access the whole window. Get a caulking gun. It doesn’t cost much to caulk and it doesn’t take much skill to do it. Any home owner is capable. It’s one step more difficult and needs more safety consideration to to the upper floor(s) . First you need a long ladder. Ask yourself if you are capable of climbing and working up high. Some people just don’t have the balance to do it. Some just don’t want to take the risk. In that case get help. If that doesn’t work for you, you can accomplish a significant amount upstairs by doing the caulking inside. Besides being safer, in the cold weather it’s more pleasant. On a cold day, you can easiy feel where the cold air is coming in and remedy the situation. I might also suggest that if your house doesn’t have storm windows, you consider installing them. Unless you have the time and are handy, I advise getting professionals to do it.

Leaky doors usually result from poor of missing weatherstripping on the top and bottom of the doors. Doors are opened and closed frequently so the weatherstripping gets worn down. This is another place where, on a cold day, you can actually feel the air coming in. If you don’t want the trouble of removing the doors, which you need to do. There are padded leak stoppers that can be placed against the door on the floor when they are closed. It can be annoying, but at least at night when the cold is the worst and the doors remain closed, it plugs up the leaks and can result in significant savings.

After plugging the leaks, if you want to do more, consideration taking an insulation survey. I would begin in the attic where the most heat is lost. For the attic, particularly if it isn’t used as storage, I would bet fiberglass insulation. You just lay it on the floor of the attic. Fiberglass insulation is rated. Ask your supplier what R rating you need for your situation. Insulating the attic is well worth the trouble and expense.

SWIMMING POOL CONSIDERATIONS

Before building a swimming pool and before you even check the local building codes for requirements. I recommend to you a free booklet put out by the US Consumer Safety Product Commission. called Safety Barrier Guidelines for Residential Pools. It’s in the public domain and is available on the website www.cpsc.gov. It’s main purpose and subtitle is to prevent the drowning of children.

The booklet emphasizes the construction of barriers to prevent submersion injuries, especially to young children. Statistics show that children under the age of three are the largest group of these kind of injuries. The booklet makes it quite clear that it does not mandate anything or contradict any local ordinances. It’s purpose is just to provide information and guidelines to save children’s lives.

After reviewing statistics, the CPSC has concluded that the most effective way to reduce injuries and fatalities to children is using barriers, a nice word for fences. Barriers prevent children from gaining access to swimming pools unless an adult is present. The booklet considers the variety of possibilities for fencing with illustrations and suggestions as to height, spacing and most of all latches intended to keep kids out of the pool unaccompanied. It does not leave out above ground pools which are very much a contributor to child fatalities. Even small portable pools have made a contribution to these fatalities.

Another statistic that is significant is that a large percentage of pool mishaps occur in home pools, either your own or of friends. The booklet describes where fences should be placed to maximize safety. In describing the variety of barriers possible, the booklet also points out how curious children can slip through, around and under the different type of fence. The booklet doesn’t really indicate any preference as to type but they show how to maximize the effectiveness of each type of fence. The height, the spacing of slats, the horizontal members are all considered in the construction of fences. Each type of fencc is considered with illustrations to help the pool constructor.

A good deal of consideration is given to the type of latches that should be used and where to place them, keeping in mind the curiosity and innate ability of kids under the age of five. The booklet also talks in depth about alarm systems that can be installed and pool cover as additional safety features.

They haven’t overlooked hot tubs and the specific problems created by indoor pools. We strongly suggest getting this booklet if you intend to have a pool, whether you do it yourself or have to oversee the construction by a contractor.

ROOFING

Do it yourself roof repair can be a dangerous job if you don’t know what you’re doing and if you have no experience, especially on rooftops. I strongly suggest having any repairs done professionally for the obvious reasons mentioned. Several questions arise and will affect the cost. First, do you want to do the entire roof, or just repair what needs it right away?

If you are lucky, your neighbor is doing his/her roof and their house is the same age as yours. Carefully look at what they find and expect a similar situation at your house. In any case, it is certainly much better to check and repair a roof before it leaks, not after. If you delay, you may find yourself repairing not only the roof but also the interior walls. How do you identify roofing problems? Some things can be seen from a distance. Look for problems with flashing around vents and at chimney bases. Frequently, worn shingles can be seen without getting on the roof. Look for visible cracks or loose shingles. Most of the time, looking to repair the roof is prompted by leaks inside.

If you want to put yourself in a position not to have to think about the roof for awhile, invest in the highest quality materials available from your roofer. There are several types of roof coverings used. The most popular are architectural shingles which give a textured appearance. In years past, they were made of asbestos but that has been eliminated due to the danger of asbestos. An aside: if your house has asbestos roofing and it has to be removed for some reason, it can get very expensive because there are rules almost everywhere about how to dispose of asbestos. In many cases, that reason alone can prompt re-roofing over old roofing. Then there are cedar shakes and shingles which generally last longer than architectural shingles. Add to that clay and/or terra cotta shingles which became popular here in the late 1800’s because of their popularity in Europe. Repairing existing terra cotta shingles can sometimes be difficult because matching the shape and color is not easy. Most often, clay shingles have to be imported which adds to the expense.

Slate roofs are supposed to last a long time, over a hundred years is claimed. If you want a slate roof or if you have one that needs repair, make sure you get a contractor with experience on slate roofs. Slate is not only very expensive, it is very heavy and requires special equipment. Finally there are metal roofs which are also quite varied and extremely durable/

How To Clean Your Door and Window Screens Properly

No matter how much we try to prevent it, dust and dirt will always be present in our homes. If you fail to clean your residence, you can expect these harmful elements to accumulate to your detriment. Once this happens, your health will be exposed to a wide range of diseases and ailments. That’s why you need to invest an ample time and effort in keeping your house clean. You have to go and get rid of all the dirt you see in every area of your beloved home. One of the many tasks you need to do is ensure your screen door and windows are clean.

The use of screens in your doors and windows are a great way to improve air flow into your house. These screens allow the passage of air for better ventilation while keeping dust and dirt from entering your lungs. At the same time, the presence of screens can also filter out these harmful elements and prevent them from affecting your belongings.

Before you start cleaning the screens, you will need a screwdriver to take out your screens. You will also need large towels, multi-purpose cleaning products, and a vacuum machine. Of course, you’ll also need an area with no obstruction to better clean the screens.

First and foremost, take your screwdriver to take the screens out. Keep in mind where’ll place those screws because they can be easily lost. It’s recommended to keep them in a small plastic container and out of reach from children. After you have taken the screens out from your door and windows, bring them to an area where no one will be affected by this task.

Now, get those towels, lay them on the ground, and place the dirty screens on top of them. Turn on the vacuum machine to suck all of the visible dirt and dust stuck in them. The towels will help prevent these harmful elements from spreading and keep them concentrated in one area.

Next, get a basin and pour around ¼ of a cup filled with a multi-purpose cleaning product. Afterwards, fill the basin with water until the mixture feels soapy enough for your preferences. Keep in mind to mix the whole thing up so the cleaning product will properly combine with the water. Otherwise, you won’t be able to clean your screens well.

Get your hose and wash the screens first with water to eliminate any remaining dirt and dust. Set your hose nozzle at a medium setting to prevent destroying your screens. If you set it at a powerful setting, the fragile construction of the screens will give way to your hose’s water pressure.

Once the screens are wet, you can dip a sponge or microfiber cloth into the soap mixture. Use this sponge or cloth to wash off your screens and bring them back to their original condition. Again, be careful when you perform this step because of your screen’s delicate nature. One wrong move and you might punch a hole in it. It’s better to use a soft stroke as you clean every inch of these screens.

When you are done washing them with soap, you can start rinsing the screens with your hose. Again, use a medium setting to wash the soap away from your screens. Use a different towel or piece of cloth to dry off your screens. Leave them in a place where they can dry under the sun.

Before you reinstall them, take your vacuum out again and use it on your screens one last time. This should be done to eliminate any trace of dust that got stuck while you left the screens to dry. Find those screws and attach the screens to its corresponding doors and windows. After you have reinstalled them, you’re as good as done.

 

Read This Before Fixing A Leaky Roof

The roof is a fundamental part of a house. Without it, we will be drenched in water once it is raining. That is why it’s troublesome once our roof is damaged and water starts to damage our ceilings, walls, and other things inside our homes.

If you noticed that you have a roof leak, it is advisable to fix it immediately no matter how small it is. Even for a short time, small leaks can lead to bigger problems – it can cause the spread of molds, rotten framing and may lead also lead to more damage to your ceiling.  Fixing the damaged area immediately may even save you tons of money and time for repairs.

The hardest part in fixing a damaged roof is locating the damaged area. Once you have located the area, it will be easier for you to do the repairs. You can even do it yourself without the help of any professional roofers. That’s how easy it is!

The most common source of roof leaks are usually items that penetrate on the roof. These can be roof vents, dormers, chimney or anything that can be projected through the roof. When you are trying to track down where the leak is coming from, it is best to look for any stains like black marks, water stains or molds. Once you notice these marks, the damaged area will most likely be just above it or can be a few distance to the left or right.

There are many ways on how to repair a leaking roof but the fastest way to repair it is by patching the hole that is causing the leakage with a piece of galvanized sheet metal flashing. You can easily find this type of sheets at any hardware or home depot center.

If you decide to do the repairs on your own, remember to always be cautious because it could also lead to a severe to life-threatening injury especially when it is your first time doing it. It is advisable to fix your roof when it is completely dry because a wet roof is slippery and could be very dangerous for you. It is also best to use rubber-soled shoes because they provide the best traction when working on a roof.

 

BUILDING CODES

If you’re a do-it-yourselfer and are doing anything significant to your home, make sure you check the local building codes. They are always changing and usually to make something safer, not necessarily better and rarely easier. This is particularly true if you live in an old house. The older the house, the more changes are likely to be required. Lets start with electrical codes. The evolution of electrical wiring from early “nob and tube” is one significant item. Fuse boxes almost always have to be replaced with circuit breakers. The location and number of electrical outlets is a code item. If your house is an old one you can be sure you don’t have enough outlets. Moreover, they have to be grounded. Kitchen and bathrooms require GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter), sometimes called GFI outlets, which have a breaker built right into the outlet which will pop if there’s a short circuit or overload. Remember, water is an electrical conductor. Plumbing is another code item. Lead pipes can be a problem and they are not a cinch as the cliché says. Asbestos associated with the heating system will usually have to be removed if you are making any major changes to the system like replacing the burner. A word about asbestos: it should be removed professionally if you don’t know how to do it safely. Dry asbestos flakes and becomes dangerous dust. If you are doing anything to exterior walls, consider the code for insulation requirements, which will invariably require increasing it or in some cases putting it in where it never existed. I strongly suggest you get a building permit for the work you are going to do and be sure you have it inspected to be sure you conform. The cost for the permit is usually nominal. It’s not the cost of the permit that bothers DIYers, it’s the cost of bringing things up to code and the bother of dealing with the inspection process. Some towns are easy to deal with. Others are impossible. But if you do work without a permit, you are in danger of being forced to undo your work if you’re caught. It’s not usually worth the risk. If you are doing major work, ripping it out can be very expensive not to say aggravating. A word to the wise…