Category Archives: Home & Garden

Licensed builder with his list

Smart Ways of Picking Your Building Materials

Licensed builder with his listYou have your budget ready, and the ideal plan for your future home. You have also hired the services of the best professionals to help you build your dream house. However, you are left a bit stranded when it comes to choosing the building materials you are going to use. Here’s a three-point guide to selecting the right building materials.

Durability

Some materials are more durable than others. Every homeowner desires to put up a building that is robust and will stand the test of time. This will also be determined by the location you intend to build your structure. If the area is prone to natural disasters, be sure to consult the best and licensed builders in Auckland or anywhere in New Zealand to use the best materials that will stand against any weather.

Cost

There are different ways to look at the cost factor. First, consider the ease of installation of the desired material and whether it will need specialised labour and equipment. If you use different kinds of materials available in the market, the expenses could go up. If your budget gives you some freedom, you don’t have to go for the cheapest option. Instead, go for the strong ones which will require less or no replacement soon. This way, you will end up saving money.

Availability

Choosing materials that are locally available come with many benefits. One, you will save significantly on the transportation costs. You will also not suffer from the pains of late deliveries which could affect your budget especially the labour cost. Also, getting the right and reputable supplier of locally available materials is easy.

Building a house is a significant investment, and preparation is necessary to ensure that you get value for your money. One way of ensuring this is by selecting the right materials. These pieces of advice will help you choose the ideal materials.

3 Seemingly Harmless Activities That Can Actually Damage Your Water Drains

Drain in the sinkAt home, there are some unsung heroes that need to be recognized. Among them is the water drain—yes, the water drain! Without it, your bathroom and kitchen will surely be dirty and unhygienic. They are the willing transporters of your home’s refuses.

While they are built to withstand a lot of things, that does not mean they do not suffer from damage. There are seemingly harmless things and activities that actually cause damage to your drains. In fact, as All Hours Plumbing and Drain Cleaning explains, these damages may even require high-pressure water drain cleaners in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Here are some of the things you need to keep in mind to avoid bad habits that affect your drains.

Grease

Putting bacon grease into your drain may seem like a normal activity, but it actually has a negative effect on your plumbing system. The grease can harden, especially during cold weather. When it does, it will clog your drain. On the other hand, it may line the walls of the drain and make the passage tight for the water to pass.

Your “Biodegradable” Food Refuses

How many times have you actually thrown fruit peelings and vegetable cutouts into the drain? You may think that they get carried away, but they become obstructions. The flour, the egg shells, and the meat trimmings actually have the same effect.

DIY Attempts

At some point, your plumbing has been damaged. You might have thought that you can save money on repairs by doing the fix on your own. But in reality, it can only cause further damage. Of course, further damage means more expensive fixes.

It is time to change your habits if you want your drains to last a long time. More importantly, you need to fix any problem as soon as possible by working with a reliable solutions provider.

The Right Way to Clean Glass Bottles for Reuse

Several types of glass bottlesIn the age of plastic bottles, a glass bottle brings hope and warmth to the table. One reason people prefer disposable plastic bottles is that there is no need to clean them afterwards. These are thrown to the bin after use, supposedly for recycling.

But The Speedy Brush Company Ltd. explains that it is cheaper and more environmentally friendly to use glass bottles instead of throwaway plastic. It is also easy to clean bottles without any use of plastic pads.

Narrow Neck Bottles

A prime example of this is when reusing wine bottles. In the old days, taverns made their own wines, or they bought wines by the barrels. After a bottle has been emptied, these were refilled with wine from the cellar. Of course, at the time, rich folks had their own wine cellars where they kept their bottles of wine safe. These days, some people use glasses because these are hard to clean compared to the above-mentioned plastic bottles, which are conveniently disposed of after use.

Cleaning a glass bottle is easy as long as you have the right brush. It should be long enough to reach the bottom of the bottle. It should have thin flexible bristles that can be inserted into the bottle. It’s easy to find these from the department store. This method works well if there are some materials left at the bottom of the glass.

Regular Cleaning

For instances where the bottle is relatively clean, there are other cleaning methods to consider. Some of these include the use of vinegar and baking soda. These are regular pantry elements, which also happen to be useful for cleaning almost anything.

You need to pour the vinegar into the bottle first. Give it a vigorous shake before pouring the baking soda. This will create a fizz that helps clean the bottle even further. You would need to give the bottle a few more shakes. In case you need to, it’s easy enough to repeat as needed.

The Perks of Having a Pool at Home

view of a residential outdoor poolA dream doesn’t have to be just a dream for the duration of one’s life. You can make your visions come true by working hard and being focused on your goals. This can apply to getting your dream job, purchasing your very own house, and even constructing that pool you’ve always wanted.

How a Pool Can Change Your Life

Nowadays, people who build their homes focus on the indoor areas, especially with the lack of space on their property. However, those who are blessed with the resources to acquire a substantially sized land area can enjoy planning special extras even outside their abode. This includes building a separate apartment or storage, additional garage space, and even a swimming pool.

Gain the Benefits

A pool may be trifle or even extravagant to some people, but if it has always been your dream to have one, what other people think shouldn’t stop you to get the services of a pool contractor in Salt Lake City. Plus, there are specific advantages to having your very own swimming pool.

Firstly, it will surely hike the value of your property. This can be advantageous especially if you will think of selling your asset in the future. Secondly, having a pool in your residence means you can take the plunge any time of day or night. Your kids can delight in learning how to swim or playing with their friends in the water in the privacy of your own home. Thirdly, you won’t have excuses not to exercise. Swimming is one of the best workouts and having access to a pool will undoubtedly help you reach your target weight in no time at all.

Of course, the price of building a pool can be a detriment. However, with the help of a respected and established pool contractor, you can surely work within a certain budget, and before long, you will have the swimming pool of your dreams.

What Could Go Wrong with your Garage Door Opener?

a red garage doorThe garage door is easily the most easily overlooked equipment in the house. As long as it continues to work, no one would dare care if it is doing fine. But that should not be so since any trouble could cause a disturbance on the daily grind in your household.

Take for example the garage door openers. This technology that lifts the garage door open and pulls it back to close is packed with little details that help make it effective. Those little details should not be overlooked because any minor trouble could cause a major malfunction if a commercial garage door repair expert in Salt Lake City does not resolve it immediately. Here are a couple of issues you must watch for with your openers:

  • Does not work with the remote. If the garage door opener does not move with a click, there must be something wrong, first, with the remote, or worse, with the unit’s motor.
  • Does not close the door all the way. If the garage door opener fails to complete the action of either opening or closing the doors, something is amiss. You can check the close limit switch, the door rollers, and the safety sensors for any sign of trouble.
  • Does not close and reverses immediately before it hits the floor. Newer garage door opener technologies are packed with a safety feature, which allows the door to reverse if it hits something on its way to close. But it is a different story altogether if it reverses when there is nothing on the way but the floor. Such miscalculation might be caused by rusty rollers, which creates extra friction and sensibility.

Any garage door trouble could be simple or complicated. It is best that you carefully inspect your unit if you sense that something is wrong and immediately call an expert if you think the trouble is beyond your basic technical knowledge. Some repair issues are dangerous to tamper with, and you need the expertise and excellent repair skills of a professional to work it out.

Keep Your Energy Bills in the Long Term With 2 Simple Moves

electricity bill with graph closeupHeat sinks and old inefficient heating and cooling systems are the most common drivers of spiking energy bills, notes Whipple Service Champions, a home AC repair expert in Salt Lake City. The heat loss that occurs through some openings in your house causes the already inefficient system to worker harder.

This results in a higher consumption of the electricity every time you switch it on.

Give your house a makeover

Not really a makeover but more of a sprucing up to eliminate all avenues that promote heat loss from the house. Any openings in the walls serve to drive up your electricity bills. These include the spaces below the door and windows, cracks, crevices and utility vents.

While these might seem innocuous, they cause the heating unit in the home to work harder. See, for your house to attain your preferred level of warm, it must be a closed system. Otherwise, any opening in the house lets it a cold draft while leads to a temperature drop.

Your heating unit must keep correcting these anomalies that increase power consumption.

Overhaul your old AC system

You are not doing yourself any favors by hanging on to your old and battered AC unit in the home. In addition to driving your electricity bills up, the unit is unlikely to cool or heat up the house to the preferred levels. Rather than rake up the costs for a dismal service, you are better off getting a modern variety.

While the initial costs might be on the higher side, the monthly cost savings over its lifetime let the unit pay for itself. Just ensure that the replacement unit fits your space and boast of high efficiency.

If your energy bills are driving you up the walls, you can take proactive measure and avoid put a stop to it. You can do this by eliminating leaks in the house or by overhauling your old AC system.

Home Improvements: Understanding Cracks and How to Fix Them

Fixing a Cracked WallHome-owners are constantly looking for ways to keep their house in the best condition at all times. Maintenance is an essential part of ensuring your home is in good shape, and fixing small problems such as cracks on your own can save you a lot of money in the long run.

You could always use concrete patch repair products to solve this issue, but to know how to prevent them, Form Direct notes that it is important to understand how they happen.

Weather

Changes in environment and weather contribute to the destruction of walls. As temperature drops and rises, structures shrink and expand to cope. Usually, these changes in temperature create superficial cracks on walls.

Weak Foundation

When a structure is newly built, time is essential to strengthen the foundation. Unfortunately, in some cases, the house is occupied too early, and thus the foundation is not strong enough to bear heavy objects.

If you notice deep cracks around the house, your house might be sinking on its foundation. This is a dangerous situation because the walls and ceiling could collapse.

Too Much Load

There are instances where cracks appear after structures endure heavy loads. For example, chandeliers are heavy decor, and this can lead to cracks in your ceiling. A big heavy sofa can likewise create cracks on the floor due to its weight.

Moisture

This is the least expected factors, but it is common. If you are encountering leaks around the house, this might stem from moisture that breaks the core of the structure superficially.

You could use patching to cover them, but keep in mind that mould and mildew can cause damage, so make sure to seal any leaks.

The presence of mould and bloating will deteriorate the integrity of the materials. You also need to make sure your home is free from any water leaks and damage. You should also deal with any holes or cracks on your walls immediately.

Managing Bedtime for Children while Traveling in 3 Ways

A Child on the Bed with FamilyBedtime is one of the trickiest parts of traveling with kids. Especially when you’re moving to a different timezone, the change could disrupt your child’s schedule and lead to fussy and irritable tots. That can only mean bad things when you have a full day ahead, so it’s good to prepare for the change.

Here’s what you should do to help children adjust to their temporary sleeping schedule:

Check Bed Comfort

While adults wouldn’t mind the bigger bed in their hotel as a break from their old mattress at home, children may have a hard time adjusting. If they’re used to a cot, ask the receptionist if they offer a rollaway bed free of charge. Some hotels charge extra for this per night, which becomes a hassle when your trip involves several hotels. An alternative option is to get rental rollaways in Miami or anywhere else as long as it’s convenient.

Shift in Advance

Know the time difference and slowly adjust your baby’s sleeping schedule days before the trip. This helps them sleep at a more appropriate time once you do get to your destination. Another option is to follow your old routine at home, but this could be tricky if your children (and yourself) are jetlagged and there’s not much to see by the time the family wakes up.

Know the Hotel Room Layout

If you have a newborn, you will want them near you during bedtime. The tricky part is making them sleep when you’re not ready for bed yourself. You don’t have to resort to walking around the hotel room in the dark if you know the layout. Position the baby near one of the lights which you can turn off without leaving the rest of the room in total darkness.

You know how hard it is for babies to sleep at home. What more when you’re in a different room? Fortunately, some tips can help manage bedtime better.

Elderly woman in a bath tub

Why Walk-In Tubs Are for Everyone

Elderly woman in a bath tubWalk-in tubs, traditionally designed for the elderly, are now sought after by people of all ages because of the features. The spa mode, heated seats and generous width make them an attractive purchase for almost everyone.

Walk-in tubs were made for the elderly in mind, but an increasing number of people are trying them after discovering the benefits from a senior relative or finding out about their added features from an advertisement.

Bathing for the Larger Person

Some bathtubs for the elderly are wider than standard bathtubs, making them ideal for ladies or gentlemen of a larger size. There is added comfort and no need to struggle to get in and out. Simply drain the water, open the door and step out.

Bathing for People with Disabilities

Up to 9 million parents in the USA are people with disabilities, and this can make lifting small children in and out of the tub challenging. With a walk-in tub, they can lead the child into the tub without lifting the child. It also has the added security of temperature-controlled faucets, so the water is always the perfect temperature for children. The water is completely drained before the door can be opened and the integral non-slip surfaces mean that there’s no risk of falls when they get out of the tub. This makes bath-time easier for parents with disabilities.

Bathing with Chronic Conditions

Accessible bathtubs are great for people with chronic conditions like arthritis because the user doesn’t have to lie down. Some types of bath also have a spa mode with bubbling warm water that they can immerse themselves in. This is soothing for painful joints and can assist with relaxation and sleep.

Walk-in tubs aren’t just for seniors. People with disabilities or chronic conditions, and people of all shapes and sizes can use them for their benefit.

Well maintained garden on winter

Gardening and Winter: How to Effectively Do It

Well maintained garden on winterIf the absence of color drives you up the wall, then you must hate the dreadful white expanse that comes with winter. However, you shouldn’t let dreadful weather dull your world. With the help of antique copper garden planters you can get from firms such as Authentic Provence, you can have a burst of color around you always.

No longer do you have to stand the sight of your dying garden as the winter creeps in. You have the power and ability to create a rosy and beautiful environment and lift the mood in your home.

Bring in the flowers

Copper pots look dashing in your garden. They will bring their beautiful sheen and design inside the house as well. When winter comes calling, you can move your blooms inside the house without ruining the décor.

With the right containers, you can bring in fuchsia, coleus, geranium, or even water lilies indoors during winter. You only need to take care to place them in a spot where they have access to the little sunlight that comes up during the wintery conditions.

If you must have some color in your garden, you can’t go wrong with hardy mums. However, you must be sure that you are getting the variety that is truly indifferent to winter.

Winter-proof other plants

Spring is an avid gardener’s dream as it’s when plants begin to grow, and once again, the garden fills with a burst of sound and color. To avoid, too much trouble in your garden during spring, you can overwinter some of the hardy plant species. For instance, consider applying mulch to your garden before winter.

Mulching keeps the ground frozen all through winter and prevents it from undergoing the harmful freezing and thawing process. The contracting and expanding of the soil crushes and kill the roots, which ultimately leads to the death of the plants.

The onset of winter can prove to be the stuff of nightmare for the avid gardener. Luckily, with adequate preparation, you can get through this cold season with your plants and flowers in great shape.