CARDOK

Looking for that extra space to park at car at home? If this space doesn’t exist, CARDOK may be the right solution for you! CARDOK is an innovate approach to car storage whether storing 1 to 6 cars as well as the option for an automative CarTurn, lifts and more. CARDOK out of Switzerland can be used for all sorts of needs such as boat storage or even a wine cellar. The security and technological advancements made by CARDOK make them a leader in luxury vehicle storage.

 

rnr7

 

 

Info derived from cardok.com

Apr07

LOOP

Mens Gift

 

Looking for a gift for someone that has everything? Check out the LOOP Pool table for an interesting twist on the game. Much smaller which makes this perfect for offices and the rooms that a pool table wouldn’t fit into!

 

How it Works

“The object of LOOP is to win by potting a colour ball and then the black ball.

The starting position is illustrated above: the black ball is on the dot, with a red and a yellow on either side. The cue ball is positioned anywhere on the line between the black and the pocket.

The first player names a colour that he wants to pot and the first shot must hit that colour.

The other player must aim to pocket the other colour.

The game proceeds like pool, with each player taking alternate shots until the first person has potted their colour and the black. A player who pots the black with his or her colour still on the table loses the game.

The key to winning at LOOP is always to calculate the angles by considering the positions of the focus points.”

 

Product: LOOP  Original Source: Uncrate

Dec16

Add a Garage Space

gazeboxheader1

Need that extra garage space at home? Stop using the tree as a protection and add some glamour to your driveway!

The new concept of garage.
Carport, Garage and Gazebo…ALL IN ONE!

 

GazeBox is the new and revolutionary foldable cover system. It can be used as a modern gazebo or as a garage for cars. The special anti UV polycarbonate panels give protection from the sun, hail, rain, wind, ice, pets and birds. . Does not retain the heat. Easy to install, no special permissions required. “Made in Italy” patented product.

 

Change led colors using radio control.

Does the wind bother you? Adjust the fan.

Choose your look: carbon, wood, aluminium or stone.

Protect your car using a modern design and a strong carport.

 

Benefits
• Multipurpose Carport, Garage, Gazebo.
• Easy to use.
• Automatic opening.
• Protects from the sun.
• Efficient air flow. Does not retain heat
• Protects from bad weather
• Snow and wind resistant
• Protects from birds and animals.
• Esclusive design made in italy.
• Customizable colors, graphics and more
• Durable framework.
• Excellent value.
• Requires minimal space.
• Aestethically pleasing.
• Further theft protection.
• Makes no water buildups.
• Removable structure.
• Quick anchorage to the ground.
• Independent fan regulation.
standard on Gazebox premium
• Painted and protected iron framework.
• Alveolar polycarbonate walls and roofs.
• Eased manual opening.
• Counterweight retaining springs.
• Led lights.
standard on Gazebox Luxury
• Painted and protected iron framework.
• Roof and walls in alveolar polycarbonate, solid polycarbonate, wood, carbon, alluminium and stone look.
• Push button automatic opening.
• Back-up batteries.
• Counterweight retaining springs.
• Led lights.
On request
• Aerator.
• Air conditioner.
• Theft alarm.
• Hail and rain detector.
• Panels with a range of patterned surfaces.
• Solar panels.
• 1300 watt compact vacuum cleaner.
Sizes and Models
Gazebox S: 563 x 300 x 254 (L x W x H in cm)Gazebox M: 624 x 300 x 254 (L x W x H in cm)Gazebox L: 710 x 330 x 254 (L x W x H in cm)Gazebox XLM: 624 x 600 x 254 (L x W x H in cm)Gazebox XLL: 710 x 660 x 254 (L x W x H in cm)Gazebox 4YOU: customizable sizesPackaging: 340 x 160 x 140 (L x W x H in cm) 1000 Kg

 

Article info from MIKEA Engineering Rosciano (Pe) Italy

They can be contacted at: Tel. +39 085 859 0016 Fax +39 085 859 9327 VAT IT01799290687 email: info@gazebox.it

 

 

Jul31

Spring Tune Up Tips

After a long, dark winter, spring’s bright sun and warm winds are, well, a breath of fresh air. The only downside? All that sunshine spotlights your leaf-filled gutters, cracked sidewalks and the dead plants in last year’s flower beds. Dwight Barnett, a certified master inspector with the American Society of Home Inspectors, shared this checklist to help you target the areas that need maintenance so you can get your chores done quickly, leaving you time to go outside and play in the sunshine.

  • Check for loose or leaky gutters. Improper drainage can lead to water in the basement or crawl space. Make sure downspouts drain away from the foundation and are clear and free of debris.
  • Low areas in the yard or next to the foundation should be filled with compacted soil. Spring rains can cause yard flooding, which can lead to foundation flooding and damage. Also, when water pools in these low areas in summer, it creates a breeding ground for insects.
  • Use a screwdriver to probe the wood trim around windows, doors, railings and decks. Make repairs now before the spring rains do more damage to the exposed wood.
  • From the ground, examine roof shingles to see if any were lost or damaged during winter. If your home has an older roof covering, you may want to start a budget for replacement. The summer sun can really damage roof shingles. Shingles that are cracked, buckled or loose or are missing granules need to be replaced. Flashing around plumbing vents, skylights and chimneys need to be checked and repaired by a qualified roofer.
  • Examine the exterior of the chimney for signs of damage. Have the flue cleaned and inspected by a certified chimney sweep.
  • Inspect concrete slabs for signs of cracks or movement. All exterior slabs except pool decks should drain away from the home’s foundation. Fill cracks with a concrete crack filler or silicone caulk. When weather permits, power-wash and then seal the concrete.
  • Remove firewood stored near the home. Firewood should be stored at least 18 inches off the ground at least 2 feet from the structure.
  • Check outside hose faucets for freeze damage. Turn the water on and place your thumb or finger over the opening. If you can stop the flow of water, it is likely the pipe inside the home is damaged and will need to be replaced. While you’re at it, check the garden hose for dry rot.
  • Have a qualified heating and cooling contractor clean and service the outside unit of the air conditioning system. Clean coils operate more efficiently, and an annual service call will keep the system working at peak performance levels. Change interior filters on a regular basis.
  • Check your gas- and battery-powered lawn equipment to make sure it is ready for summer use. Clean equipment and sharp cutting blades will make yardwork easier.

 

Article published by HGTV written by Dwight Barnett

Mar01

Don’t Fall into Problems

Fall is the perfect time to take care of the little things that can make a big difference for you and your home. Most of the tasks listed below are well with-in the average person’s ability. But even if you choose to have a professional handle them, it’s worth the expense. You’ll save money — and maybe even your life.

Here’s the checklist at a glance.

Fall_Trees

 

Find the Perfect Countertop
  • Get your mind in the gutters. Inspect and clean gutters and downspouts.
  • Button up your overcoat. Seal gaps and cracks around windows and doors with weather-stripping and caulk.
  • Get on top of roof problems. Inspect your roof for damaged or curled shingles, corroded flashing, or leaky vents.
  • Walks the walks (and drives). Take steps to repair damaged sidewalks, driveways, and steps.
  • Chill out. Drain and winterize outdoor faucets and irrigation systems.
  • Freshen your filter. Clean or replace dirty furnace filters.
  • Give your furnace a physical. Have a professional inspect your heating system.
  • Gather round the hearth. Check fireplaces for soot or creosote build-up. Better yet, schedule a visit from a reputable chimney sweep.
  • Keep the humidifier humming. Clean the plates or pads to ensure efficient operation.
  • Head-off gas problems. If you have a gas-fired room heater, have it inspected by a pro. Also, perform any routine maintenance recommended by the maker.
  • Keep the wood fires burning brightly. Wood stoves are making a comeback. To avoid a deadly situation, be sure to inspect yours before firing it up.
  • Keep your family safe at home. A home safety check should be an annual ritual in every household. Test smoke and CO monitors, inspect (or install) fire extinguishers, review fire escape plans, and rid your home of old newspapers and other fire hazards.

Get your mind in the gutters. Your roof’s drainage system annually diverts thousands of gallons of water from your house’s exterior and foundation walls. That’s why it is so important to keep this system flowing smoothly. Clogged gutters can lead to damaged exterior surfaces and to water in your basement. They are also more prone to rust and corrosion. Before the leaves fly this fall, have your gutters cleaned, then covered with mesh guards to keep debris from returning.

Step-by-step instructions for inspecting and cleaning gutters

Button up your overcoat. A home with air leaks around windows and doors is like a coat left unbuttoned. Gaps in caulk and weather-stripping can account for a 10% of your heating bills, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

Weather-stripping is easily the most cost-effective way to rein in heating and cooling costs. This humble material also reduces drafts and keeps your home more comfortable year-round. Because weather stripping can deteriorate over time, it is important to inspect it periodically.

If you suspect a problem with weather stripping, you have several options for checking. Close a door or window on a strip of paper; if the paper slides easily, your weatherstripping isn’t doing its job. Or, close the door or window and hold a lighted candle near the frame. (Don’t let the flame get near anything flammable!) If the flame flickers at any spot along the frame, you have an air leak.

While you’re at it, also check for missing or damaged caulk around windows, doors, and entry points for electrical, cable, phone, gas, and so. Seal any gaps with a suitable caulk.

Easy instructions for weatherizing your home

Get on top of roof problems. Few homeowner problems are more vexing than a leaky roof. Once the dripping starts, finding the source of the problem can be time-consuming. Stop problems this fall before ice and winter winds turn them from annoyances into disasters.

Here’s how: Inspect your roof from top to bottom, using binoculars if necessary. Check ridge shingles for cracks and wind damage. Look for damage to metal flashing in valleys and around vents and chimneys. Scan the entire roof for missing, curled, or damaged shingles. Look in your gutters for large accumulations of granules, a sign that your roof is losing its coating; expect problems soon. Finally, make sure your gutters are flowing freely.

Note: Roof-mounted television antennas, even if they aren’t in use, may have guy wires holding them in place. Look for loose or missing guy wires. If you see some, and your antenna is no longer being used, consider having it removed altogether.

Learn how to perform minor roof repairs

Walk the walks (and drives). Damaged walkways, drives, and steps are a hazard year round, but their dangers are compounded when the weather turns icy. Fixing problems in the fall is also critical to preventing little problems from becoming expensive headaches.

Look for cracks more than 1/8-inch wide, uneven sections, and loose railings on steps. Check for disintegration of asphalt, or washed-out materials on loose-fill paths.

Most small jobs are well within the ability of a do-it-yourselver, but save major repairs for experienced hands.

How to repair concrete steps

Patching concrete

Chill out. If you live in an area with freezing weather, take steps to ensure that outside faucets (also called sill cocks) and inground irrigation systems don’t freeze and burst.

Here’s how: Close any shut-off valves serving outside faucets, then open the outside faucet to drain the line. (There may be a small cap on the faucet you can loosen to facilitate this draining.) If you don’t have shut-off valves, and your faucets are not “freezeproof ” types, you may benefit from styrofoam faucet covers sold at home centers.

To freezeproof an inground irrigation system, follow the manufacturer’s procedure for draining it and protecting it from winter damage.

Freshen your filter. Furnace filters trap dust that would otherwise be deposited on your furniture, woodwork, and so on. Clogged filters make it harded to keep your home at a comfortable temperature, and can serious increase your utility bills. A simple monthly cleaning is all it takes to keep these filters breathing free and clear.

Here’s how: Disposable filters can be vaccumed once before replacement. Foam filters can also be vaccumed, but they don’t need to be replaced unless they are damaged. Use a soft brush on a vacuum cleaner. If the filter is metal or electrostatic, remove and wash it with a firm water spray.

Finding your furnace’s filter

Give your furnace a physical. Once a year, it’s a good idea to have your heating system inspected by a professional. To avoid the last-minute rush, consider scheduling this task in early fall, before the heating season begins.

Here are signs that you should have an inspection performed sooner:

Noisy belts. Unusual screeches or whines may be a signal that belts connected to the blower motor are worn or damaged.

Poor performance. A heating system that doesn’t seem to work as well as it once did could be a sign of various problems. Your heating ducts might be blocked, the burners might be misadjusted, or the blower motor could be on its last legs. One check you should be sure to conduct: Make sure your furnace filter is clean.

Erratic behavior. This could be caused by a faulty thermostat or a misadjusted furnace.

Gather round the hearth. Even if you use your fireplace only occasionally, you should check it annually for damage and hazards.

Inspect your flue for creosote. Creosote is a flammable by-product of burning wood. If it accumulates in a flue or chimney, the result can be a devastating fire. Have your chimney inspected annually for creosote buildup. If you use a fireplace or wood stove frequently, have the flue inspected after each cord of wood burned.

For most people, the best option is to have your entire chimney system inspected by a chimney sweep. Once you know what to look for, you can perform the inspection by shining a bright flashlight up the flue, looking for any deposits approaching 1/8 inch thick. These deposits should be cleaned by an experienced chimney sweep.

Look for flue blockages. Birds love to nest at the top of an unprotected flue. A chimney cap can prevent this from happening. If you don’t have a cap, look up the flu to ensure that there are no obstructions.

Exercise the damper. The damper is the metal plate that opens and closes the flu just above the firebox. Move it to the open and closed positions to ensure that it is working properly.

Check your chimney for damage. Make certain that the flue cap (the screen or baffle covering the top of the chimney) is in place. Inspect brick chimneys for loose or broken joints. If access is a problem, use binoculars.

Keep the humidifier humming. You may know that bone dry winter air is bad for your health, but did you also know it can make fine wood more prone to cracking? You and your home will feel more comfortable if you keep your central humidifier in tip-top shape during the months it is running.

Here’s how: First, inspect the plates or pads, and if necessary, clean them in a strong laundry detergent solution. Rinse and scrape off mineral deposits with a wire brush or steel wool.

Head-off gas problems. Keeping a gas heater in good shape is both a safety and a cost issue. An improperly maintained heater can spew poisons into the air of your home, or it may simply be costing you more to operate. Have a professional check these devices annually. There are also some maintenance items you should address.

Here’s how: First, shut off the heater. Then check the air-shutter openings and exhaust vents for dirt and dust. If they are dirty, vacuum the air passages to the burner and clean the burner of lint and dirt. Follow the manufacturer’s advice for any other needed maintenance.

Keep the wood fires burning brightly. Woodburning stoves are a great way to add atmosphere and warmth to your home. But regular inspections are needed to ensure that these devices don’t become a safety hazard. Here’s how to check them.

Inspect stovepipes. Cracks in stovepipes attached to wood stoves can release toxic fumes into your home. Throughout the heating season, you should check for corrosion, holes, or loose joints. Clean the stovepipe, and then look for signs of deterioration or looseness. Replace stovepipe if necessary.

Look for corrosion and cracks. Check for signs of rust or cracking in the stove’s body or legs.

Check safety features. Make sure that any required wall protection is installed according to the manufacturer’s specifications and that the unit sits on an approved floor material. If you have young children, be sure to fence off the stove when it is in operation.

At least once a year, do a top-to-bottom review of your home’s safety features. This is also a good time to get the family together for a review of your fire evacuation plan. Here’s how to do this:

Smoke and CO detectors. Replace the batteries in each smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) detector, then vacuum them with a soft brush attachment. Test the detectors by pressing the test button or holding a smoke source (like a blown-out candle) near the unit. If you haven’t already, install a smoke detector on every floor of your home, including the basement.

Fire extinguishers. Every home should have at least one fire extinguisher rated for all fire types (look for an A-B-C rating on the label). At a minimum, keep one near the kitchen; having one per floor isn’t a bad idea. Annually, check the indicator on the pressure gauge to make sure the extinguisher is charged. Make certain that the lock pin is intact and firmly in place, and check that the discharge nozzle is not clogged. Clean the extinguisher and check it for dents, scratches, and corrosion. Replace if the damage seems severe. Note: Fire extinguishers that are more than six years old should be replaced. Mark the date of purchase on the new unit with a permanent marker.

Fire escape plans. Every bedroom, including basement bedrooms, should have two exit paths. Make sure windows aren’t blocked by furniture or other items. Ideally, each upper-floor bedroom should have a rope ladder near the window for emergency exits. Review what to do in case of fire, and arrange a safe meeting place for everyone away from the house.

General cleanup. Rid your home of accumulations of old newspapers and leftover hazardous household chemicals. (Check with your state or local Environmental Protection Agency about the proper way to discard dangerous chemicals.) Store flammable materials and poisons in approved, clearly labeled containers. Keep a clear space around heaters, furnaces, and other heat-producing appliances.

 

 

Article published & written by Better Homes & Garden

Sep26

Fall into Style

BHG.com Decorating Editor Kaelin Zawilinski offers this advice for styling your home this fall using natural accents

  • Introduce hints of a new color to your existing palette. Combine autumn red or orange splashes with a neutral or contrasting base such as taupe, olive, or blue. Muted greens are fresh alternatives to bold warm colors. Throw pillows, table accessories, and accent rugs are high-impact, low-investment places to start.
  • Find woodsy elements at your local farmers’ market or your own backyard. Look for moss, grasses, and small branches. Fill interesting pots with any combination of them, or turn a bundle of twigs into a natural photo holder.
  • Small but unexpected details go a long way at the dinner table. Tie a name card to leafy twigs to make great place holders for your guests. Dress up acorns by exchanging one for a large crafts-store pearl and tying them up with a velvet ribbon for a rustic, yet elegant, napkin holder.
  • Celebrate the harvest season with casual country touches. Find natural artwork, twine, and rustic wooden accent pieces. Cozy blankets add autumn comfort to any space.
  • Choose pieces that will stay timely through the holidays, or that can be updated in a snap, to save space and money. Pinecones, dried berries, and twigs stay up-to-date through the winter. After Thanksgiving, swap your moss and acorns for faux-snow and ornaments to give the same decor a new presence.
  • Wreaths are classic and versatile, and can be made from almost any material. Experiment with wheat or leaves for fall, holly for Christmas, or pinecones and twigs for the whole holiday season. Try laying them flat to frame pumpkins, candles, or other centerpieces.
  • Candles add warmth and light in any season. They work anywhere. Don’t forget about mantels and windowsills. If you stick with neutral colors, embellishments and containers can be changed for the season.
  • Make space for conversation. Adding — or relocating — seating around a fireplace creates a cozy new space for fall fellowship. No fireplace? Pull a couple of sitting chairs in a corner, add candles for ambiance, and keep a stack of books close at hand.

 

 

Written by Kaelin Zawilinski, published by BHG.com

Sep12

Cooling Down

Keep Your Home Cool

Summer has plenty of pleasures to enjoy — but those sweltering, steam bath-like dog days? Not so much. Here, stress-free ways to keep your home cool — without sending your electric bill soaring

Need to cool it now? Here’s strategies for surviving a hot spell:

1. Smart Ways to Save on the AC

Set the thermostat at 70° to 75°F when you’re home, 80°F when you’re not; don’t turn it off completely before leaving the house (it can cost more to cool the house back down once it overheats).

Position electric devices like lamps, TVs, or computers at least a few feet away from your AC thermostat. Reason: The AC can sense heat from these appliances, which can cause it to run longer than necessary.
Place room units on the north side of the house when possible. An AC unit operating in the shade uses up to 10% less electricity than one in the sun. Long-term fix: Plant trees to shade your windows and save as much as 25% of the energy a typical home uses.
Know when to upgrade. In terms of energy use, you may want to consider a new AC if yours is more than 10 years old (window unit) or 12 years old (central air) — and definitely if it’s not cooling as well as it used to — to shave up to 30% off your bill.

 

2. Manage Moisture

An estimated 50% of U.S. homes have unhealthily high levels of moisture. What to do when “it’s not the heat, it’s the humidity”:

Move indoor plants outside — they produce a lot of airborne moisture.
Invest in a dehumidifier. The 70-pint Frigidaire ($193; amazon.com) zapped humidity best in GHRI tests.
Run bathroom exhaust fans for a full 20 minutes after a shower or bath to “dry” the air.
The ultimate chill-out: Get wet. A cool bath or shower with water around 75°F (lukewarm) will chill you out 25 times faster than a blast of cold air

 

3. Remember: Heat Rises

Attics can reach temps of 150°F. Take measures to properly insulate this area from the rest of the house: Install sweeps and weather-stripping around the door (about $10 and $8 for a roll, respectively, at hardware stores). For a hatch-style entrance, invest in a stair-insulator cover like the Attic Tent ($200 to $240; attictent.com) to seal it.

 

4. Harness the Heat

Hot weather isn’t all bad for your electric bill

Line-dry clothes outdoors — there’s nothing like that fresh smell! — and skip the dryer (the costliest part of doing laundry).
Hang towels that are soggy from a day at the beach or pool to dry in the sun over a line, a railing, or the back of a chair. Bonus, if towels will be used again before laundering: Solar rays can kill some smell-causing bacteria.

Create a Breeze With the air circulating, you’ll feel like a room’s temp has dropped up to 8°F
Use a portable fan in conjunction with your AC to move air without greatly increasing your power use (it’ll even save money, because you can comfortably set the thermostat a few degrees higher). No AC? Fake it by putting a dish of ice water in front of the fan.

Be smart about ceiling fans Since they don’t actually cool — you need to be in their path to get the benefits — turn off all fans when you’re heading out to avoid wasting energy. If you’re buying a new ceiling fan, make sure it’s sized right for your room (the fan’s box should list its specs).

Open opposing windows on nights when the outside temp is at least 3°F cooler than inside. Window fans (one that pulls air into the room, another that blows air out) can boost airflow. Umbra’s Halo Floating Magnetic Tieback Rings ($14 for two; umbra.com) make drawing the drapes a literal cinch

 

Article published & written by Good Housekeeping

Aug15

Keeping Cool

Keep Cool Efficiently and Economically

Learn how to maintain your air conditioner

As temperatures climb, so does air conditioner usage. And that means higher utility bills. You can save big bucks if you just perform a few simple maintenance tasks that will enable your air conditioner to operate more efficiently.
To learn these easy, money-saving techniques, first choose the type of air conditioner below.
How to maintain your central air conditioner

We can thank the industrial revolution for the advent of air conditioning. It was believed that controlling heat and humidity in the workplace increased worker productivity. Soon though, air conditioning for personal comfort became accepted as well. One of the first examples of this is the central cooling and heating system designed for the New York Stock Exchange building in 1902.

Home air conditioning became popular after World War II and has become a standard feature in many homes across America. Beside changing an air filter once a month, central air doesn’t require much in the way of maintenance, but by following the steps below you may be able to avoid future repair bills.

Keep outdoor condenser unit free from debris

(as needed)

Anything obstructing the unit will prevent it from dissipating heat as effectively, making the unit work harder. This wastes energy and money. This task should be repeated as needed.

1. Turn off the air conditioner.

2. Go outside and look at the unit, checking for any shrubbery, leaves, grass or dirt that may be impeding the flow of air from the unit.

3. Remove any such obstructions with a broom or vacuum cleaner.

4. Check the base pan (under the unit) and remove any debris that has accumulated there as well.

5. If there is debris or dirt deep in the unit you may want to call for service.

Clean or change air filter

(once a month)

The air filter is the most important part of your cooling system. If it becomes clogged, then your system will have to work harder and longer to supply the same amount of cool air.

First, check and see what size filter you have. Make sure the air conditioner is turned off before you remove the filter. Once you know what size air filter you have, go to a home improvement store and buy a filter with the same dimensions as the old one, and then install the new filter. If you have a reusable filter, see our article on cleaning an air filter.

Clean indoor coil

(once a year)

A dirty coil will hinder the unit’s ability to cool the air moving through the unit. This makes the unit work harder wasting energy and money.

1. Remove the front panel of the indoor unit exposing the system’s coil.2. Ensure that the coil is dry. Using the soft brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner, gently remove any dust or debris from the coil.

3. Check and make sure that coil fins are straight. If not, straighten them with a fin comb available from refrigeration supply dealers.

4. Replace the front panel.

Brush and vacuum the fan blades and fan enclosure

(once a year)

To keep your air conditioner running at maximum efficiency.

1. Turn the unit off and remove the air filter.2. You should be able to access the fan blades and the fan enclosure area. Use a cleaning brush and your vacuum cleaner’s attachments to remove as much of the dust and any other debris as you can.

3. Replace the air filter or replace it with a clean one.

Clean drain line (once a year)

A clogged drain will not allow condensation to drain properly causing potential water damage to your home.

1. It is best to perform this task with the help of another person.2. Turn off the unit.

3. Remove the front panel of the indoor unit and find your drain line.

4. Disconnect the drain line.

5. Get a water hose and place it in the drain line. If the drain line is too small, get a nozzle attachment for the hose and wrap a towel around the area where they connect.

6. Find where the drain line exits the house.

7. Have your helper turn on the water while you man the hose, then have the assistant check where the drain exits the house.

8. Water should come out of the drain at the same flow rate as it is entering it. If the flow is slower, your drain line is partially clogged. If the clog is not removed by the flow of water, run a solution of half bleach and half water down the drain to clear any algae that may be blocking the pipe.

9. Reconnect the drain line.

10. Replace the front panel.

 

Article published by Realtor.com by (C) by Move, Inc

Jul25

Summer Decor Ideas

5 Easy Summer Decor Ideas for Your Home

Summer is about relaxing and enjoying the season. From cooling interior color palettes to opting for casual interiors over the stuffy formal ones, summer decor ideas are easy.  Do you have a summer beach house, or would you like your apartment to FEEL like a summer beach house? Either way, the warm outdoors and cool evening breezes make your home the optimal place to entertain and relax. Try these easy summer decor ideas to take advantage of all that the season has to offer.

FURNITURE: Dark and muted tones are perfect for fall and winter, but spring and summer scream for light and airy colors.  Use removable slipcovers, or decorative throws to bring bursts of color and brightness. Prefer whites and neutrals? White and khaki slipcovers are casual but can be dressed up with formal throw pillows in an instant.

DRAPERY: When you want to bring in the cool night air, and keep out the hot summer sun use curtains instead of drapery. Drapery material is heavy and dark, while curtains paired with sheers can give you versatile flexibility in the summer months. If you prefer to savor the views, and not cover up the windows use valances. Valances in summer textures and colors will leave your windows looking finished, with an obstructed view.

BRING IN THE OUTDOORS: When you think of summer it’s all about the feelings of the outdoors. Flowers, plants and fresh fruit centerpieces make your home smell aromatic and look beautiful. For a more rustic feel, try bringing in eco-friendly materials like bamboo, hemp, and jute area rugs.  These materials bring an exotic and natural feeling of the outdoors in. Remember, entertaining outdoors will also give a welcome break to being inside. Summer is about being flexible and spontaneous!

VIEWS: What better way to welcome summer into your home, than looking at a breathtaking view? Maximize your furniture placement by facing it towards your ocean view, pool, or lush green yard. Your enjoyment of your home is based on your emotions. If opening windows to hear nature makes you feel good, do it!  Don’t love the view from your windows? Consider buying a painting or wall decor that you love the look and feel of.

KID FRIENDLY: Let’s face it, kids are out of school and summer time means kids around the house! Make sure fabrics and slipcovers are machine washable, and are casual and fun! Make summer time arts and crafts projects with seashells, pine cones, and nature inspired finds, which the kids can pick out. Their projects can turn into summer décor that you display proudly around your home!

Summer decor is all about finding the right balance between enjoyment, relaxing, and livable interiors. Try these tips for your home and see if you don’t instantly feel like taking the day off to enjoy your summer home.

 

Article written by  RoniqueGibson in Ideas & published by freshome

Jul11

Home Maintenance Tips

After a long, dark winter, spring’s bright sun and warm winds are, well, a breath of fresh air. The only downside? All that sunshine spotlights your leaf-filled gutters, cracked sidewalks and the dead plants in last year’s flower beds. Dwight Barnett, a certified master inspector with the American Society of Home Inspectors, shared this checklist to help you target the areas that need maintenance so you can get your chores done quickly, leaving you time to go outside and play in the sunshine.

 

  • Check for loose or leaky gutters. Improper drainage can lead to water in the basement or crawl space. Make sure downspouts drain away from the foundation and are clear and free of debris. 
  • Low areas in the yard or next to the foundation should be filled with compacted soil. Spring rains can cause yard flooding, which can lead to foundation flooding and damage. Also, when water pools in these low areas in summer, it creates a breeding ground for insects. 
  • Use a screwdriver to probe the wood trim around windows, doors, railings and decks. Make repairs now before the spring rains do more damage to the exposed wood. 
  • From the ground, examine roof shingles to see if any were lost or damaged during winter. If your home has an older roof covering, you may want to start a budget for replacement. The summer sun can really damage roof shingles. Shingles that are cracked, buckled or loose or are missing granules need to be replaced. Flashing around plumbing vents, skylights and chimneys need to be checked and repaired by a qualified roofer. 
  • Examine the exterior of the chimney for signs of damage. Have the flue cleaned and inspected by a certified chimney sweep. 
  • Inspect concrete slabs for signs of cracks or movement. All exterior slabs except pool decks should drain away from the home’s foundation. Fill cracks with a concrete crack filler or silicone caulk. When weather permits, power-wash and then seal the concrete. 
  • Remove firewood stored near the home. Firewood should be stored at least 18 inches off the ground at least 2 feet from the structure. 
  • Check outside hose faucets for freeze damage. Turn the water on and place your thumb or finger over the opening. If you can stop the flow of water, it is likely the pipe inside the home is damaged and will need to be replaced. While you’re at it, check the garden hose for dry rot. 
  • Have a qualified heating and cooling contractor clean and service the outside unit of the air conditioning system. Clean coils operate more efficiently, and an annual service call will keep the system working at peak performance levels. Change interior filters on a regular basis. 
  • Check your gas- and battery-powered lawn equipment to make sure it is ready for summer use. Clean equipment and sharp cutting blades will make yardwork easier.

 

 

Article written by Dwight Barnett with Scripps Howard News Service published by HGTV

Jun17