Landscaping My New Backyard

planting grass seed in backyardRecently I purchased a new home because I wanted to be closer to work and out of the busy downtown Richmond where I used to live. The home is a cute little renovated cape cod with a large backyard that needed a lot of work. This was the first time I had ever owned a home with a yard, a space that needed a lot of work. When I moved into the home the back and side yards were tilled over presumably to get rid of weeds and ivy that had overgrown into the area.

Getting Started With Planting and Pavers

installing driveway pavers in VirginiaI was ready to take on the challenge of landscaping the entire yard even though I didn’t have any past experience. I knew it was going to take some learning as I went and a lot of time and patience. The first thing I did was have a privacy fence built which made planning the rest of the yard a lot easier. Then after hearing the recommendation from a friend I bought driveway pavers from a local landscape supply company to have a driveway put in going through the side yard. This made a big difference in both functionality and curb appeal.

The next obvious problem I had to tackle was that I still had no grass in my yard. This was going to take the longest I knew but after several trips to the hardware store I was able to get enough grass seeds to hopefully create a thick bed of green grass throughout the yard in just a few short months. The only space I left out was where I plan to have a patio built right next to the deck. I would much rather be working on making the yard a better space and having a nice inside to go back to than having it the other way around. Im so glad I had local businesses and friends to help me out and bring me the supplies I needed. I plan on continuing to improve my new home and someday adding an addition as well.

Incorporating Glass into Your Bathroom

Decorating with Glass

When decorating your bathroom, glass can be a great material to work with. Glass can easily be cleaned, it handles humidity well, and it looks great with any style. Wood and other materials, on the other hand, can grow mold in humidity and may be a little less timeless.

glass shower doorsThe best investment you can make in your bathroom is installing glass shower doors. This will increase the value of your bathroom, enhance its physical appearance, and provide a low maintenance solution to curtains. In order to clean your glass doors, use a gentle solution and wash them every week or so. This will prevent buildup from hard water, which deposits minerals that leave behind a streaky appearance. You could also clean it quickly with a squeegee after each use.

Glass tiles are another great way to enhance the look of your bathroom. A couple of rows of glass tiles can really make your walls pop. Add them in your glass tilesshower or around the entire room. You can choose from a large variety of different styles and colors.

If you like to decorate down to the simplest little details, consider adding some glass knobs to your bathroom’s cabinets. This is a great way to add a splash of color to your bathroom also. Bright blues and greens are popular choices.

glass knobs

glass decorationsYou can also use regular glass knick knacks to decorate a bathroom. Clear vases and other objects will catch the light from the windows and open up the space. You could put extra mirrors around the bathroom for the same effect.

How to Select New Windows and Doors

When purchasing new replacement windows and doors for you home it is very important that they fit a certain criteria so that you get most out of your investment. Replacing your doors and windows is not something that you do often and you need to make sure that your replacements are of the newest energy efficient technology so that you gain the greatest return on your investment. Most homeowners don’t really know what to look for in new windows and doors. That is why I have come up with a helpful system to give you the edge on purchasing the right products for your home.

Purchase Energy Star Rated Products

Wood WindowsWhen it comes to the best energy efficiency it is important to purchase products with a great Energy Star Rating. Make sure that you are purchasing the right energy efficiency level of products depending on the geographical location. By purchasing based on the geographical location you will be purchasing products specifically made for your climate, insuring the best amount of efficiency. To more information about energy star and the different ways to calculate the energy efficiency then read our previous post.

Finding the Right Materials

There are a wide variety of different window materials that you can choose from and the best selection depends on your climate and the image you are looking for. If you environment allows it then I would strongly suggest looking at Andersen’s wood window and doors. All of their windows and doors are custom built to fit in your home. They also use fantastic wood materials to give your home a beautifully elegant image.

Choosing the Right Color

Some window dealers provide a variety of finishes or colors while some don’t. Finding a dealer that provides large variety of pre-finishes will greatly increase the chance of you receiving greater satisfaction. Southwest Door & Window is a great example of a company that provides a wide array of finishes that will give your home that unique look that you are trying to find. With their professionally finished products you will definitely be coming home to satisfaction.

To recap the process you want to make sure that you purchase a window that has the best energy star rating for your geographic location. Then you will want to decide what type of material you want your doors and windows to be made of. Once you have decided these two factors then you will want to begin the design process by selecting a great finish. By using this process you will be creating the right doors and windows that you were imagining to replace your old ones. Not only will you gain greater beauty but you will also gain greater energy efficiency.

Energy Saving Andersen Windows

As much as we want to avoid the expense of having to replace our windows, sometimes it’s necessary. Old windows that are already high maintenance and not energy efficient actually cost more in the long run, than having the windows replaced. Old windows can make your home look ugly on the outside and dark on the inside. The importance of having good quality windows for our home is often overlooked.

anderson window in living roomYour best bet is to visit http://www.findreplacementwindows.com/ when it’s time to let go of your old ones. Their products are made with high quality sustainable materials that are energy efficient at the same time. Equally as important, they will effectively keep the cool air in your home in the summer and the warm air in during the winter. Some of their products can even provide extra protection most people don’t even consider, like UV protection and heavy insulated glass that is more resilient to impact.

As for installation, Renewal by Andersen is the subsidiary of Andersen Corporation in charge of windows and doors replacement. Homeowners who are looking for quality replacement windows and hassle-free installations can check out their services.

Renewal by Andersen will support the needs of homeowners through the installation process. It allows customers to work with just one company throughout their project and that can be very convenient instead of looking for different contractors for the different phases of the installation.

As part of their window replacement package, they will include Professional Window Installation. No matter how beautifully crafted a window is, if it’s not installed correctly, it will cause more damage by allowing moisture in your home. Andersen installers are masters of their craft and to show their confidence in their workmanship, they offer a limited warranty to customers.

Check out Renewal by Andersen window replacement and get value for your money. You can spend more time enjoying the view and less time on maintenance. Their aim is to build products that are better than any other in the market. This is my recommendation but there are other window options out there if for some reason you are looking for different windows.

New Home Buying vs Building an Addition

For many families who are expanding or just need extra space, they are faced with the dilemma of whether to move to a new home or build an addition onto their current residence. Both options can be a good choice depending on your situation so I wanted to take a look at the possible pros and cons of each decision.

Building an addition

new home addition buildThe choice to have an addition built onto your current home can be a good one particularly if you are close with your neighbors, enjoy the space you already have or if you are in a good school zone you want to stay in. In fact, there are many factors why you may not want to move. I had a friend who decided to build an addition with BNW Builders recently for their home outside of Richmond Virginia because it was the best option for them for some of these same reasons.  Keep in mind an addition can add value to your home and you have complete control of your new space, something you can never do when your looking to buy an already existing home.

Moving to a new home

home for sale, charlottesville vaMoving can be just an attractive of an option. You can visit sites like realtor.com or go to a site like Zillow to find houses and condos for sale in your area. Often times you may decide after looking in one place that you are looking for something different in a home. For example, you may realize you would enjoy a larger yard or another bathroom or even a bigger kitchen. Moving is an easy way to find a home with all the attributes you want in a living space as is less complicated than you may think with the help of a Realtor and moving companies. Moving is also a great opportunity to be in a better neighborhood, school zone or simply get a change of scenery if you want one.

Finally, when making the choice between building onto your home and moving you should look at the housing market and what type of house you could buy with the money you could have from selling your home and the price you would give up from hiring a contractor to build the add-on. Make sure to factor in the additional value your new home would get with the new rooms. Just remember to take the time to understand the market currently and then figure out what is really important to you in a living space and you are sure to make the right decision for the unique needs of your family.

If you decide to stay in your current home and want more ways to improve it, don’t forget we have recently touched on how to hire a roofer as well as home siding reviews. The work you do for you home helps both protect it and increases its value for the future.

Spring Cleaning Solutions

For a messy home, there is nothing like the feeling you get after finishing your spring cleaning. I always find that spending the extra time to do a thorough job is always worth the effort. But if your home is anything like mine, you know its difficult to clean everything yourself. When you start focusing on the details you lose track of time and other things get in the way. For example, in the middle of my cleaning day I decided to organize a closet which took 5 hours and someone walking through my home would not have noticed the different.

While this is pretty sad, there are some things everyone can do to get help. One of the easiest things you can do if you have children is make some type of reward for having them help you clean. My kids are easily bribed by a little icecream and for a few bucks I have two new helpers eagerly pickup up and dusting away. I also called Green Dog Chemdry of Virginia Beach and requested their carpet cleaning service to come clean the carpets and rugs throughout my home.

By the end of the day my home was looking so much better. I could not believe the new lighter shade the carpets were after the cleaning. Its funny how a situation can go from overwhelming to manageable like mind did thanks to a little bit of help from chemdry and my children. Now all that’s left to do is keep my promise and reward them with come icecream after a hard days work.

Tinting and Replacing Windows

Take Care of Your Windows

There are a couple of ways to take care of your windows in cities, like Pittsburgh PA, where there are warm summers and hot winters. They expand in the heat, retract in the cold, and can grow dull over time depending on which materials you use.

Replacement

Replacing your windows regularly is the best way to keep them looking and functioning as if they were new. Even if you bought low quality windows to start with, buying replacement windows in Pittsburgh PA can help keep your home warm, comfortable, and elegant.

In a place with cold winters, it is especially important to replace your windows as they begin to let in drafts. Constant streams of cold air coming into any room can affect the temperature of the entire house. This also affects your electric bills, because you are both losing heat and letting in cold, which is detrimental to keeping a warm room. It is like a constant battle between your thermostat and the outdoors!

Tinting

Another way to keep your windows looking great and functioning properly is to consider tinting them. Tinting windows also has a couple of different purposes. This treatment can:

-          Reduce light that harms furniture and rugs

-          Get rid of glare during certain times of the day

-          Protect your skin from harmful UV rays

-          Create some privacy in any building

-          Stop intruders from spotting tempting valuables in your home

-          Enhance the appearance of your windows

Whether it is for security or aesthetic purposes, tinting your windows provides a variety of benefits. Look for a professional to replace and/or tint your windows today.

The Guide to Replacement Window Shopping

New windows are a way to spruce up your Franklin TN home. But finding the right replacement window and window installation company in Nashville can be overwhelming. That is why when you are looking for top of the line products and services we have your guide to buying replacement windows.

Energy efficient windows with reflective low-E coatings have become the standard for replacement windows. But now, you’ll find even more options available to the average consumer like fiberglass window frames. Heating and energy costs are only going to continue to rise in the future. For many homeowners now is the time to replace your old drafty windows with new, efficient replacement windows and start seeing the benefits on your next electric bill. Although it will take some time to see the total gain on your investment. Homeowners should expect to save 10-25 percent a year on heating and cooling bills after your replacement windows have been installed.

Replacement Windows Nashville

Make sure when shopping for replacement windows in Nashville TN that you check the efficiency ratings. Manufacturers’ windows are marked with e “U-Factor” number. The U-Factor is a rating for the window’s ability to conduct heat. The lower the U-Factor the better! The solar gain factor is displayed as a fraction. This number indicates how much of the amount of sunlight that hits a window is transferred inside as heat. If your home is susceptible to cold weather, look for the highest number you can find. In contrast, if you want to keep your home cool and combat warm climates, look for a fraction of 1/3 or less.

When choosing an expert replacement window installation company in Nashville, I advise using the same company for purchase and installation of your windows. This can help to avoid as many potential problems as possible. Often times, a company’s installation technicians are specifically trained on installing their brands of replacement windows. I hope this guide has helped you on your journey to upgrade your home’s appearance and efficiency with replacement windows.

Weather-stripping vs. High End 3M Window Tinting

Do you have a drafty door or window that is in need of repair in Indianapolis? There are two ways to solve this problem. First, you can choose rubber weather stripping products. The rubber weather-stripping is a temporary fix and may get you through a season. However, a higher end and long term home or commercial insulation solution is 3M window tint.

Putting up 3M window film in Indianapolis is more complicated but overall the most effective solution to weather-protect your home’s windows.  It can help in three major ways that affect your safety.

3M Film IndianapolisDamage / Theft Resistant: 3M is a special window tint that is applied to the outside of your windows. This means you can protect the glass from potential vandalism such as graffiti or scratches. This means if you are the victim of attempted vandalism, only the film will show the damage. Replacing 3M window film is an easy and inexpensive fix compared to replacing the entire window structure.

Weather Resistant: When building your residential or commercial space you want to make sure it is built to last. This means, preparing for the worst case scenario. When storms and strong winds occur, unprotected glass shattering is the number one on the list of reported damages. Plan ahead! Solar Concepts offers safety and security window tint in Indianapolis that is made to weather the storm. This means come rain or shine you can trust that all the things you have worked so hard form remain intact.

High Impact Resistant: Unfortunately, in today’s world the threat of violence is a high priority on the list of safety concerns. Solar Concepts provides a high impact window film that can reduce the severity of blast damage and help protect lives.

If you are interested in learning more about how you can safely protect your investment, click here for more information on Solar Concepts and their 3M window film in Indianapolis.

AC Preparations in Texas

Air Conditioning Repair in Rockport Texas

With summer well on its way here, and spring seemingly coming to a close, many of here in Texas are beginning to wonder if our Air Conditioning units and systems are going to stand up to the blistering heat that the summer has in store for us.  Making sure that your unit and entire system is ready for the heavy work ahead this season is an important step for every homeowner that enjoys a comfortable environment to ensure.  Although there aren’t many things that you can do yourself to ensure that things run smoothly, there are plenty of things that One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning can do for us here in Rockport Texas.

Air Condioner Repairman Thumbsup

What You Can Do

Now, some of this is pretty common knowledge among homeowners, but I’m sure there are plenty out there that aren’t aware or at-least aren’t thinking about the following.  The first thing that is the best thing to keep on top of, is changing the air filter in your return on a regular basis.  This won’t only keep the system clean internally, it will also make sure that your AC unit is providing the best air quality possible, which is extremely important for the occupants health.

In addition to regular filter changes, (which by the way, is best done every 1-3 months depending on the manufacturer and the occupants allergy tolerance) you can also make it a habit to inspect the outdoor unit for anything that may be impeding or slowing down the flow of air through the vents.  Things like grass clippings, excess dirt and standing water can cause problems at any time – and its best for the lifespan of your unit to make sure that it is completely free & clear of debris like this.

What the Professionals Can Do

The best way to make sure your unit is up and running for the entirety of the summer season, and consequently making sure that you and your family stay cool and comfortable, is to have a pre-season maintenance visit performed by an HVAC company like One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning.  They will check fluid and Freon levels; inspect your system to make sure that no parts are in danger of failing, and double check the electrical connections for things like corrosion and frayed wiring that are just waiting to cause a breakdown. If you’re like me, and you enjoy staying cool during the summer – then do yourself a favor and schedule a maintenance checkup for your AC unit sooner than later!