Author: 5ZEUgp

Protecting Your Deck from Fire

Protecting Your Deck from Fire

Wooden decks provide a convenient place for many families across the world to enjoy some fresh breeze, watch the sun set and even enjoy their meal. A deck can also offer easy access to your home’s amenities while still giving you an enjoyable outdoor space. In recent years, home owning families have started to use fire pits on their home decks. If you fall into this category, you need some fire pit deck safety and protection tips for your valuable property. This article offers you the same. Read on for seven step by step procedures on how to protect your well-varnished decks from a fire.

To safely and securely use a fire pit on your wooden deck:

Choose a safe location

You are recommended to select a location that is several feet away from your house, railings, walls, overhangs or roofs, blinds, tree limbs, shades, etc. Preferably, pick a location of your deck that is sheltered from the wind; it’s safer and secure.

Prepare the selected area carefully

Take your time to ensure that your wooden deck is safe from fire by carrying out the following safety guidelines:

  • Have all your firefighting equipment nearby just in case of a fire
  • Ensure all deck furniture, umbrellas and others items are kept out of the way
  • Have all trip hazards like floor mats, dog leashes or extension cords removed from the area
  • If you have a natural gas powered fire pit connected directly to your home, make sure it’s safely routed so that no one is going to trip over it.
  • Store any extra wood at a distance that is safe so that wayward sparks will not ignite it unintentionally.

Protect your deck using fire pit pad

You should never try using your fire pit directly on your wooden or composite deck. Use fire pit pads to protect the deck from embers, heat or ash. You can find fire pit pads in a variety of materials and styles; metal, tile, screen mesh, stone composite, and stone. You can also construct your own fire resistant pad by just placing bricks and interlocking paving stones, or cinder blocks to the area where you are considering to put a fire pit. Besides, you can make it permanent by using a mortar to bind them all together.

Another alternative is to adhere heat-resistant tiles to a big piece of plywood and placing them beneath the fire pit.

Place the portable fire pit over the fire pit pad

  • Use the stand that comes with the fire pit to put the fire pit over the pad. Always make sure the fire pit is stable enough not to wobble, or unevenly lean to the stand.
  • Lighting your fire
  • Place some sand in the bottom of your fire pan. This will serve as an additional insulation layer between your deck and hot coals.
  • Use alternatives to fire pits that can burn your wooden decks
  • The most recommended option, in this case, is propane or gas as they produce no sparks or mess.

Make sure to put the off the fire completely

Once you are done with fire, ensure its completely put out. Dare not to leave a fire as close as this to your home, burning and unattended for even the shortest time possible.

Bottom line:

Although you have the best moments relaxing on your wooden deck, enjoying the radiant glow from the cracking fire and roasting marshmallows, safety remains your number one consideration. You don’t want to damage your home because you lacked the knowhow to protect your wooden deck.

Bathroom Renovation Mistakes You Can Avoid

Bathroom Renovation Mistakes You Can Avoid

Bathrooms and kitchens are the two most commonly used rooms in the home, they are also the rooms that get renovated the most often.  When you renovate your bathroom you need to keep function in mind first and then worry about the style.  People often look for what looks good rather than what works, here are some bathroom renovation mistakes that you can avoid.

Spend Money Wisely

Bathroom renovation costs can run the gamut from a couple of hundred dollars to several thousand depending on what you want your bathroom to look like in the end and the space you have to work with.  There are some things that you want to spend money on and other things where you can cut back.  Don’t buy cheap fittings, get better taps and worry less about accessories.  The bathroom gets a lot of traffic and good taps along with functional sinks and toilets will pay off in the long run.

Pay Attention to the Layout

If you are taking your bathroom right down to the studs and completely redoing it, then be careful where you put things.  You want ease of use and where the toilet and bathtub go is important especially if you have a small bathroom.  Trying to cram yourself into a tiny space is a disaster you will regret later.  Don’t trade off style for function.

Ventilation is a Must

Bathrooms have a lot of moisture and good ventilation is a must if you don’t want to end up with mold.  You are going to need a ventilation fan, even if you have a window.  Windows are great but if you live in the northern part of the country they will be closed more than half the year.  A ventilation fan will take out the moisture even in the cold winter months and make sure you don’t end up with black mold.

Classic Design

Using classic design may seem boring and you want something more exciting and modern.  Remember so did everyone who ever put an avocado green toilet in their bathroom.  They all regret it now.  Rather play around with color on the walls or with accessories.  Keep things like the toilet, sink and bathtub neutral colors.  You won’t want to rip your bathroom out 5 years from now, nor will it hurt you when you try and sell your home.  I promise there will come a time when you regret that fire engine red toilet.

5 Home Improvements that Give You the Best ROI

5 Home Improvements that Give You the Best ROI

Homeowners love their new remodel or home upgrade, however; they should also remember that in the end, it is also important to think about the long term. This includes the quality of the improvement, the value it gives to the equity in the home’s value and if the upgrade is universal and will pleasing to many different buyers in the future.

Below are some home improvements which can give you the best ROI:

1. Kitchen renovations

Kitchen renovations give the best return on investment when you do decide to sell your home. Simple kitchen upgrades are easy enough for homeowners to do on their own while others should be left to a professional contractor. Simply refinishing cabinets, replacing laminate countertops, steel sinks, faucets and hardware can do a lot to update a kitchen with little investment to a homeowner.

If looking for something more than this such as moving appliances and restructuring cabinets call in a professional kitchen remodeler. It will save you money, time and sanity and frankly the money will be recouped in the end but the time and sanity those are things you can’t get back.

2. Curb Appeal

The exterior of your home is also an area that can bring a large return on your investment. Not only will you improve the curb appeal of your home but also the homes’ equity.  Simply replacing your door can do wonders.

3. Bathroom renovation

The bathroom is another area that can also increase the value of your home. Some major renovations in a bathroom are flooring, ceramic tiling, new fixtures and faucets and an upgrade in cabinets and vanities. Major bathroom renovations that include the layout of the space should be considered as that often adds expense that is not recouped in the end.

4. A deck or patio area installation

Another major exterior investment that helps increase the home’s value is a deck or patio area installation. A deck addition adds an extra functional space for entertaining and play. A deck can be made as cozy as the interior of your home with the latest inventions for outdoor entertaining such as screens to alleviate the presence of bugs or outdoor heaters that keep the chill at bay.

5. New Siding

New siding and trim are one of the only renovations that will not cause much turmoil to your families routine as well which is rare when thinking about home is also a home improvement that can give you the best ROI.

All home additions are worth the expense, stress and time spent if it is something that will help increase the value of your home.

Avoid These Mistakes While Building Your New Home

Avoid These Mistakes While Building Your New Home

So you are planning to build your own home. To do it correctly and efficiently, there are a few things to keep in mind to avoid some major mistakes. Prior to any building, make sure you have looked at the big picture from all angles. Keep your lifestyle in mind too. Do you plan to expand your family in the future? Do you expect to host a lot of guests daily? Make sure you take your time in researching. Get in touch with professional home builders to get an idea of what you’re getting yourself into. They can give you guidance and a few pointers on how to save a few bucks without cutting corners. But, if you have the mentality of “I got this,” then at least take a look at a few of the mistakes you want to avoid that are listed below.

Poor HVAC Utilization

Your HVAC plays an important role in keeping your home both cool and warm. So the size of your HVAC needs to be able to accommodate both functions. If it’s not big enough it will underperform and not work as required. If you don’t care about your HVAC being the correct size, then your home being too cool during winter and still warm during summer won’t bother you much. Also, for HVACs that are unnecessarily big will increase your energy consumption tremendously.

Home Planning Is Poor

Make sure you keep your lifestyle in mind during the planning stage. Do you plan to live in your home for many years? Are children in your future? These are just a few things to keep in mind.  Here are some tips on designing your home.

Where Your Master Bedroom Is Placed Does Matter

To get the most out of your bedroom, it is best to keep it away from all of the noise. Never design your bedroom near the garage, especially if family members come and go all day as you try to catch up on some sleep. Keeping your bedroom as far away from all gathering areas will allow you to get the most benefit when it comes to sleep.

Kitchen Is Misplaced

Design your kitchen near the point of entry. This way it gives you convenience when bringing in groceries without walking through the entire home to put them away. Another good location is either near the garage or dining room. With so much foot traffic through the kitchen, your best bet is to keep it away from your living room.

Your Garage

Just like your kitchen should be near the garage, the same goes for your garage being near your kitchen. If you have kids that constantly come and go, chances are their shoes will have a lot of dirt. Planning your garage near the kitchen will alleviate any dirt tracking through your home. This will help maintain your home’s cleanliness as well as teach good habits like taking off your shoes before coming in.

What to Expect During Your Home's Roof Replacement

What to Expect During Your Home’s Roof Replacement

If you own a home, roof replacement is something you’ll most likely have to deal with at some point in time. It is very important to replace a damaged roof because if left unattended, the damaged roof might cause thousands of dollars in damage to the rest of your home. Replacing a roof can be very overwhelming for a first-time homeowner because it’s not easy to choose one among the many professional roof contractors available among other things. Fortunately, roof replacement is not as complicated as it sounds once you know what to expect. Below are some of the things you should expect during your home’s roof replacement. Here are some tips from a great roofing company in Memphis Tennessee

Initial Visit

During the initial visit, do not expect any repairs to be done. The initial visit in most cases is an evaluation visit. An estimator will be sent to your home to inspect the roof from the inside out. They inspect the roof for storm damage and identify areas with unique needs as they record detailed information about your roof. It is very important for you to be at home during the initial visit. This is because it gives you a chance to discuss any issues or ask any questions you might have concerning the roof. When the estimator is done, they will leave you with the contract information.

Time It Takes to Complete

The time it takes for your roof replacement to be completed will depend on the complexity and size of your roof as well as the weather conditions. However, standard roof jobs normally take 3-5 days to complete. Therefore, it is important to be available during the replacement period or make arrangements to have someone at home while the project is underway. This is important because it helps you avoid having the contractors in your home alone.

Supplements and Change Orders

Sometimes, there might be a discrepancy between the contractors’ estimate and the insurance company’s cost breakdown. This is known as a ‘supplement’. It can occur when the repairs have already begun or during the first insurance request. When this happens, the contractors will inform you so that you can approve any changes made to the contract.

A change order is an addition to the contract. A change order can happen when work has begun and additional damages have been identified or when you request more work to be done. You will be informed about the change order so that you can approve the changes in the contract.

Supplements and change orders normally increase the overall cost. Therefore, it is important to set some money aside so that you can be financially prepared when it happens.

Should You Have Your Windows Replaced?

Should You Have Your Windows Replaced?

Windows serve two purposes, to allow in natural light and to keep the elements out of your home.  Doesn’t sound that complicated, right?  Unfortunately it isn’t as simple as that.  Windows have changed a lot over the years and now they are more energy efficient.  People now understand how much difference a pane of glass can make when it comes to heating your house.  So should you have your windows replaced?  Let’s look at all the reasons why it might be time to change those old windows.

Advantages to Window Replacement

  • Lowering your energy costs. Most of our heat and air conditioning can be lost through poorly sealed windows.  If you upgrade to energy efficient windows you can get by with a smaller HVAC system and save as much as 25% on your total energy costs.
  • Newer windows come with a special coating on them that will reflect some of the waves from the sun. If you have a bunch of south facing windows this will be a godsend in the summer time.  Your rooms will be more comfortable and you won’t have to crank up the air conditioning.  If you get the latest windows that are triple paned with argon gas, your home will be so much cooler.
  • New windows give you a great ROI. If you replace your windows on a Monday and then decide to sell your house on a Tuesday you will make almost all of your investment back.
  • You can lower your insurance rates, newer windows are more secure and it is more difficult for thieves to break into your home.
  • You can extend the life of your furniture. Blocking out the UV rays that come into your home will keep the fabric on your furniture from fading as well as protecting your art work.
  • Block out ambient noise. If you live in the center of town or near a highway and the noise of traffic bothers you then new windows can cut down on the noise.
  • New windows need less maintenance that the older ones do. The windows have all kinds of features that make them easier to clean, they are easy to take out.  Some of them even come with blinds in between the panes, so you don’t have to clean blinds either.

By now you should be convinced that new windows are a great idea.  They are energy efficient and they will look fabulous and they are not as expensive to replace as you might think.