Tag Archives: Home improvement

A Look at the Three Common Water Heaters for Your Home

Technician checking gas boilerA water heater is not something you buy every year. Most people may only need to buy it once or twice in their lifetime. If you want to purchase a heater for your home but unsure of what to look for, here are three common heaters that you could choose from.

1. Tankless Heaters

Tankless water heaters do not feature a storage tank. Instead, it uses intense heat flashes against coils where water passes through. Although you won’t maintain a pressurized tank, you would still need professional plumbing services like those offered by Alfa Plumbing Services to remove scale and minerals from the heaters at least once a year to prevent heater damage and breakdown.

Although the initial price is usually high, they are energy efficient, which makes the cost worthwhile. This heater could be tailored to ensure an uninterrupted flow of hot water.

2. Conventional storage tank

Storage tanks heaters are the earliest and most common type of water heater. Like the name suggests, the heater has an insulated container in which the water is heated and stored until it is needed. The system features pressure and temperature relief valves, which opens to free pressure when it reaches 150 psi. Natural gas heaters are less costly to operate than electric heaters. The tanks should be cleaned and drained a few times in a year to ensure their durability.

3. Solar Heaters

The system consists of a roof-mounted solar panel that absorbs the sun’s heat and transfers it to a fluid in a closed-loop system that holds and heats the water. Solar water heaters are efficient during the hot months and less productive during the cold seasons.

Every type of water heaters has its pros and cons; it is not a case of one size fits all. A water heater for your home needs to suit your needs and. You can consult a professional heating expert for advice on which heater would fit your lifestyle best.

Independent Living: How to Fall-Proof Your Home

bathing chair with grab barsFalls are the leading cause of injuries among the elderly, and these usually lead to cuts, scrapes, fractures, and worse, severe injuries to the brain and head. Whether the cause is clutter, the dark, or slippery surfaces, you could fortify your home to be as fall-resistant as possible. To help you out, start with these basics:

  • Get Rid of All Clutter – This is by far the easiest thing you could do to prevent falling incidents. Remove clutter including unused décor or furniture, and stacks of old magazines or newspapers, particularly from staircases and hallways.
  • Install Handrails and Grab Bars – These are very important and useful on stairs and hallways, as well as near the toilet and bathtub. However, refrain from installing these yourself if you’re not 100% confident that you could do the job correctly since these safety devices would only work if installed properly, regardless if you’re installing it in the hallway of the bathroom, advises a grab bar installation professional in Dallas.
  • Eliminate or Repair Tripping Hazards – Inspect each hallway and room in your house thoroughly and look for items likes slippery or loose rugs or carpets and broken floorboards. You then need to replace, remove, or repair those items.
  • Install Ample Lighting – Opt for brighter lights, especially in hallways and stairways. Consider getting nightlights in bedrooms and bathrooms to help you see more clearly at nighttime.
  • Don’t Wear Very Loose Clothing – Go for properly hemmed and slightly fitting clothes that won’t drag on the ground or bunch up while you move.
  • Consider Wearing Footwear – Go for footwear with slip-resistant soles, and if you want to wear socks without footwear around the house, go for socks with anti-slip features.
  • Make Slipper Surfaces Slip-Resistant – Install non-slip mats on kitchens, porches, and bathroom floors, particularly in bathtubs and showers, outside and inside.
  • Take Your Time When Moving – When standing up or sitting down, pause for several seconds upon changing positions especially if you’ve been in that exact position for a significant amount of time. This also applies when using the stairs.

Put simply, fall prevention beings with creating a safer and better living space. As you could see from the tips above, you don’t need to entirely makeover your house and spend a huge chunk of change. These basic changes would help ensure that you could live independently in your own home for as long as you could.

Why You Should Consider Having a Granny Flat

Cool wooden shed in allotmentsIf an elderly relative has been having falls and it’s no longer safe for them to live alone, they don’t have to go into a residential home. There is a better solution – a granny flat!

Granny flats are the perfect solution for people who don’t want to grow old too gracefully and hate the idea of a nursing home. They offer independence with family close by ‒ for the best of both worlds.

Many people dislike the idea of having to move to an old people’s home. The common perception is that when a senior goes into a home, they are getting ready to die. Understandably, many of them are resistant when the idea is proposed.  A granny flat is a great solution for seniors who want to remain independent but have a close support network nearby.

Self-Contained Flats

Accessory dwellings are either designed to the customer’s personal specifications or, for a more affordable price, they can be assembled from granny flat kits. They are self-contained and feature all modern conveniences such as kitchens, bathroom or shower rooms and a living area. They can be built with disability in mind and include wheelchair ramps, flat access entrances and spacious rooms, large enough for mobility aids. Seniors will have the reassurance that their family is nearby if needed.

Extension to the Home

A granny flat can be detached or built as an extension to the primary residence. If it is attached to the main property it can be used for other purposes too (for example, extra space for entertaining). If the homeowners want to sell the home, a granny flat will increase the value of their property.

Playroom Facilities

A granny flat makes a great playroom for the little ones, and granny is on hand to babysit, giving mum and dad a break.

Accessory dwellings, or granny flats, provide a way for seniors to stay in familiar surroundings, remain independent with the help of family, and extend the space and value of the property; for these reasons, they are a popular alternative to nursing homes.

Foundation Cracks: When to Worry

Home being repaired

It’s common for homeowners to see small cracks in their home from time to time. The cause of cracking can be something as benign as the house settling with age or something major like soil movement underneath the house or even the weather.

However, it’s difficult to tell if those cracks can lead to bigger problems or not just by looking at it. This is where a professional can help you determine the real cause of those cracks and if you need house foundation repairs.

Signs of foundation problems

Cracks are not the only sign that you may have issues with the foundation of your home. Some of the other signs include:

  • The walls are leaning, and the floors are sloping at an angle
  • Cracks in the walls over windows and doors
  • Doors or windows that won’t completely close or open
  • The walls and the ceiling have a gap between them
  • Cracks in a window glass or tile floor
  • Presence of water in your crawl space or basement
  • Cracks or bulges in the foundation that are about a quarter of an inch or wider

Common causes of foundation problems

Extreme weather like drought can cause major foundation issues because moisture evaporates from the soil causing it to shrink away from the foundation of your home and creates a gap between them. This will ultimately cause foundation movement.

Plumbing leaks, heaving or consolidating soil, poor drainage system, and poor construction and soil preparation, as well as natural disasters like earthquakes, floods, and hurricanes, are the usual culprits for foundation problems.

Additionally, if your house is next to large trees, it’s also possible that they are drinking up the moisture of the soil underneath your home.

Not all cracks are dangerous but some definitely are. The best way to make sure is to call a professional to assess those cracks. Don’t wait until they become a bigger problem before having them fixed.

Tips for Choosing a Dehumidifier for Your Home

dehumidifier

A dehumidifier is a powerful tool that will fundamentally render your living and working environment much healthier. This is especially true if you are sweltering summer humidity or dealing with damp winter weather. This appliance will also protect your belongings from mold and mildew.

If you are thinking of buying a dehumidifier, you will find the following tips essential for choosing the ideal unit for your needs:

Energy efficiency

If you are planning to run your dehumidifier every day, it is expected that your electricity bills will skyrocket. Therefore, you will want to visit an HVAC company in Gloucester, New Jersey that sells units with energy star certification. Such a unit can potentially save you up to $200 annually on power bills.
Intended usage

Dehumidifiers are rated by their pint capacities, which correlate to space and the task to which the unit will be applied. The majority of dehumidifiers have a capacity ranging from 25 pints to 70 pints. If you reside in an area where there is too much humidity, you will require running your dehumidifier for approximately six hours a day, which is to mean that your ideal option would be a 70-pint humidifier.

Conversely, if you require running your dehumidifier in the closet for a couple of hours to protect your clothes from excessive dampness, you will just require a 25-pint unit.

Portability

This feature will come in handy when your bedroom or any other room in your home becomes humid. A portable unit will afford you the convenience of simply moving it to such an area and sucking out the moist air. Besides, selecting a portable dehumidifier will allow you to use it on crawl spaces, basements, kitchens and bathrooms.

Your choice when purchasing a dehumidifier will make a significant difference in the level of efficiency and comfort in your home. Careful shopping coupled with efficient installation will ensure that you achieve the best results for your living or working space.

Your Quick Guide to Saving Space at Home

Couple deciding the locations of the furniture

Couple deciding the locations of the furnitureWhen it comes to homes and rooms, space will always be something that needs to be discussed now and then. Over the years, you will find yourself collecting and accumulating things, some of which eat up a lot of space. As a result, you end up with a cramped room, which makes some activities quite difficult.

If you are already at this phase, it is time to regain control of your room again. And it is not as hard as you think. There are a couple of things that you can do to make the most of your room, some of which can be done if you are planning to renovate your home.

Spring-clean and organize

You will soon realise that you have managed to amassed a lot of things over the years, many of which have long stopped serving their purpose. Start cleaning your space and get rid of the unnecessary items. You can give them away to those who may need them. Or if you want to make money off it, hold a garage sale.

Go vertical

Shelves are among the things that take up most of your floor space. If you have many on-ground shelves at home, you may want to reduce their number and go for vertical ones. These are tall shelves that will not run along the length of your floor. Similar to these are floating shelves that you can mount onto the walls.

Change your doors

You may not realise it, but doors and windows are among the things that also eat up space. The constant swinging of doors can take space, which you can use for storing your items. Instead of swinging doors, you may want to use Altro cavity sliding doors, which simply disappear into the walls. You can go for windows that use the same mechanism.
These are only some of the things that you can do to save space at your home. You may contact an interior designer or a contractor to execute your plans properly.

Essential Remodels to Prepare Your Home For Sale

Home For Sale Real Estate Sign and Beautiful New HouseThe outer appearance of your home is as important as the interior décor. Windows, siding, seamless rain gutters, and exterior doors are critical aspects that a potential home buyer will check. Fortunately, you can do many things to render these parts visually appealing.

While remodeling projects are essential for enhancing your home’s aesthetic value, they should be made to withstand extreme weather conditions. Discussed below are some remodeling ideas that you might consider.

Seamless Rain Gutters

Installing new seamless rain gutters is a critical aspect of the home improvement project. This is because efficient gutter systems maintain the structural integrity of your property. Structures that lack gutters tend to suffer from perpetual water damage. Other than protecting your investment, seamless rain gutters improve the overall appearance of your home.

Rain gutters can get clogged with leaves, debris, and twigs, which can cause water backups. Double T. Inc warns that backed up water can damage your soffit, fascia, and shingles, as well as deteriorate the sliding. Getting the services of a reputable rain gutter contractor in Utah can help avoid such problems.

Exterior Siding

Siding is an integral part of your home. It improves your home’s energy efficiency by keeping heat in and other weather elements out. Claddings are made with a variety of materials that include vinyl, steel, and aluminum.

Windows Replacement

New windows do a lot more than just enhancing the appearance of your home. They also provide air and light naturally, improve energy efficiency, and add more value to your home. When choosing replacements for your windows, make sure they come with added functionality features, such as double panning, to boost your home’s energy efficiency.

Entry and Storm Doors

The front door does an excellent job of improving the value of your home. If you are thinking of selling your home, you will find that installing an upgraded front door will help you get a good price. A storm door will also provide you with security and protect you from extreme weather conditions.

There are numerous methods of improving your home for sale. Window replacement and installation of seamless rain gutters, siding, and exterior doors are essential aspects of your home renovation project. To get good value for your money, you will need to hire an exceptional contractor with superior skills and proven track record.

Patio Contractors and Questions to Ask Them

a patio in a gardenEnjoying the sun while chatting with your friends over some cold juice and sandwiches can never be more enjoyable than on a patio. After all, nothing beats the company of good friends and nature. Thus, it is high time that you put into action that long overdue patio makeover.

Whether you are thinking about a patio extension for your Brisbane home or a drastic change in your outdoor nook, you can tap a patio contractor such as Just Patios for the job. Thus, it is important to find the right one to help you get the job done.

These are the questions to ask your patio builder.

How long have you been licensed to work?

Only work with licensed contractors. Cross check with licensing bodies about the validity of your contractor’s license. Aside from knowing that it does exist, knowing how long they have it can give you an idea of how long they have been in the business.

Who will supervise the work?

Agencies, especially big ones, send out different people to supervise the work. If you have a certain contractor in mind, do not be afraid to request him to head your home project. If not, ask who will supervise your patio work and do a background check on the person to give you an idea about his skills and experience.

When will you finish the job?

You should discuss and agree on the work schedule beforehand, as well as the projected time of completion of the project. If you have a target deadline in mind, make sure to let your contractor know.

What are your warranty terms?

A good contractor should be confident with their work and will offer warranties and guarantees. As a homeowner, it is your responsibility to know the terms and policies that will allow you to claim the services if need be.

What are your payment terms?

Different agencies have different payment terms. Before signing the contract, make sure you are aware of these terms, and you clarify that there are no hidden fees and the like.

What are you waiting for? Contact your patio contractor, start the renovation now and be able to enjoy the rest of the summer comfortably and in style.

Keep Your Home Cool and Comfortable — Here’s How

Residential air conditioner compressor units near buildingLong-term reliability is one of the qualities that concern most American homeowners about installing new HVAC systems. Aside from ensuring a healthy and comfortable home environment, a good system is energy-efficient, operates quietly, and has minimal environmental impacts.

How can homeowners perform their HVAC maintenance tasks to benefit from an optimally performing system?

Maintenance packages

Local AC repair service providers in Salt Lake offer maintenance packages designed to boost overall system performance and efficiency. Inspection, cleaning, and tune-ups consist a checklist. This includes essential components, such as the filter, condensing coils, evaporator, and compressor. All electrical connections get the attention they deserve during the inspection. Lubrication of moving parts and removal of debris from outdoor components are part of the checkup as well.

Routine maintenance tips

Preventative maintenance once or twice a year extends the life of your HVAC system. It will avoid your appliances from breaking beyond repair. Most people are familiar with filter-related issues, but many are unaware of other important aspects. For instance, the right thermostat setting goes a long way in removing undue stresses on the system. A programmable model is preferable to the mechanical type, which you can upgrade for a reasonable cost. Another important component to inspect is the fan on top of the condenser unit. Get it checked to see if it already has hairline cracks. This part is located outside and does not always get the attention it deserves.

When it comes to external components, the efficiency of the entire system also rests on the airflow of the air condenser unit. Debris of any kind lessens the capacity of the system due to airflow resistance. Units found outside must be inspected periodically and cleaned to achieve the highest level of performance.

You may want to consider availing the benefits of a membership package offered by the best HVAC contractor and repair crew in your locality. Who doesn’t want to stay cool and comfortable for the rest of the year?

Preparing Your House for Repainting in 3 Ways

Woman repainting their house wall

Woman repainting their house wallEvery couple of years, you need to refresh the paint in your home to protect the walls and the property’s value. Paint has both aesthetic and functional uses. It’s easy to call house painters into your home to get the job done, but before they arrive, you should have already prepared your house. Here are some preparation tips to get done:

Move Heavy Furniture Out of the Way

Home painting services involve the use of products that could permanently stain furniture, so you should be keeping them out of the way if you don’t want them ruined. It’s better to do this yourself so painters can get started as soon as they arrive. Even if you forget to move the furniture, however, Gavin Chan Decorators Limited says that responsible painters will still help and remind you. It’s part of their job to ensure that nothing is in the way when they get started.

Choose the Right Colour

You’ve been given different swatches — some of them could be similar, save for the finishing. Be sure of what you want, so that there will be no regrets once painters are done with the task. Remember, it’s their job to carry out your wishes, so you should be communicating with them carefully.

Inform Everyone of the Project

You may have told the adults in the house about the painting project, but don’t forget the children. They could wander into the room and cause delays. Even worse, they may tinker with paint and other materials that are dangerous for their health. As a proactive parent, tell them not to play in the areas being repainted. You also need to inform those who were absent when you initially talked about the painting project.

Preparing the house is important to get the repainting job done without delays. Do your job so painters can do theirs effectively.