Monday, May 20th, 2013 at 2:16pm. 8 Views, 0 Comments.
Plumbing Leaks: 8 Smart Tips to Stop Them
Published: November 12, 2010
Plumbing leaks can be prevented with a few simple measures. Plus, learn what to do when leaks occur.
1. Locate your home’s main water shut-off valve. If there’s ever a plumbing leak, you can go straight there and quickly turn off the water to the entire house.
2. Install shut-off valves at individual appliances and fixtures. That allows you to keep water flowing in other areas of the house while making site-specific repairs. Expect to pay $4 to $10 for each valve; expect to pay $50 to $75/hour for professional installation.
3. Install a flow sensor that detects plumbing leaks and automatically shuts off water to the entire house or a specific…
Friday, May 17th, 2013 at 4:12pm. 38 Views, 0 Comments.
The Easy, Fun Way to Spring Clean Your Deck or Patio
Published: March 28, 2012
The spring cleaning chore with the most fun potential is prepping your deck or patio for spring. Here’s how to do it with a touch of fun.
Water toy #1: A pressure washer
If you don’t have a pressure washer in your tool shed, you’re missing out. Spring is a good time to add one to your arsenal of lean, green cleaning machines. They blast away dirt mostly without harsh chemicals, which is good for the planet and your deck and patio plants.
Plus, they’ve come down in price, and are easier to manage than they used to be, making pressure washing your deck and patio much more fun and much less hassle.
A 1,500 to 2,000…
Monday, May 13th, 2013 at 10:15am. 28 Views, 0 Comments.
Published: November 18, 2010
Don’t use chemicals to clear clogged drains. Use a plumber’s snake and follow these tips on preventing clogged drains.
Avoid chemical drain-clearing products
You can buy chemicals to clear clogged drains, but these products sometimes do more harm than good. They can actually erode cast-iron drainpipes.
And because they typically don’t remove the entire clog, the problem is likely to recur, causing you to use the chemicals repeatedly. The caustic action of chemicals may eventually wear away the insides of pipes, causing leaks.
Better to hire a plumber to snake the drain (usually $85 to $325) and completely remove the chunk of hair…
Monday, May 6th, 2013 at 1:42pm. 134 Views, 0 Comments.
12 Causes and Cures for Common Home Maintenance Problems
Published: April 8, 2010
Many sensory clues give you early warning of home maintenance problems—if you can decode the symptoms.
1. Peeling exterior paint
Cause: Moisture is probably getting underneath the paint, perhaps from a leaking gutter overhead or from a steamy bathroom on the other side of the wall.
Cure: If you catch the problem right away, you might just need to address the moisture issue and then scrape off the loose paint, prime bare spots, and repaint that wall, for a total of a few hundred to a couple thousand dollars. Delay too long and the siding might rot. Patching and repainting the whole house might cost $10,000.
To prevent a chronically…
Thursday, April 25th, 2013 at 3:48pm. 99 Views, 0 Comments.
5 Deck Makeover Projects Under $300
Published: July 2, 2012
Want to upgrade your deck but watching your budget? Here are 5 easy deck makeover ideas, many well under $300.
You won’t have to plug them in or wire anything, either. Their solar-charged batteries are renewed every day, and the lights are built to withstand all kinds of weather.
Types and cost:
- Paper lanterns (made from synthetic, weatherproof nylon; $20-$30) are made for hanging and come in all sorts of fun shapes, sizes, and colors.
- Carriage lights can be fixed on top of a pillar or railing newel post. $45-$150.
- Solar illuminated replicas of old-fashioned mason jars can be set on any flat surface, about $35.
- Rope lights have…
Monday, April 15th, 2013 at 3:37pm. 817 Views, 0 Comments.
Low-VOC Paint Protects Health, Pocketbook
Published: October 13, 2010
Low-VOC paints are kind to your health, and they won't break the bank, either. Learn more about these eco-friendly ways to brighten a room.
VOCs health hazards
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are solids and liquids that convert easily to gas or vapor at room temperature. VOCs are contained in many paint products and have been linked to a variety of health problems--watery eyes, headaches, asthma, respiratory diseases and cancer.
Common paint VOCs
Common VOCs in paint include ethylene glycol (the same chemical compound found in antifreeze), formaldehyde, benzene, and a variety of other flammable or toxic chemicals. The paint’s…
Friday, April 12th, 2013 at 3:41pm. 48 Views, 0 Comments.
According to NAHB's (National Association of Home Builders) recent study using data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development's 2011 American Housing Survey, homebuyers can purchase a more expensive, newer home and have the same annual operating costs as a less expensive, older home.
The study found that homes built before 1960 have an average maintenance cost of $564 a year while a home built after 2008 has an average yearly maintenance cost of $241. And when it comes to operating costs, newer construction averages less than 3% of a home's value while an older home's operating costs averages nearly 5% of a home's value.
NAHB's study says that although mortgage payments are more expensive for a…
Friday, April 5th, 2013 at 9:16am. 175 Views, 0 Comments.
Property Zoning Laws for a Workshop or Studio
Published: April 27, 2010
Check local zoning laws, ordinances, building codes, and covenants before adding a workshop or studio to your property.
Typical zoning ordinances
Zoning ordinances vary by locale, but in general they exist to keep your new structure from adversely affecting quality of life and real estate values in your neighborhood. Zoning ordinances affecting a backyard structure boil down to these essentials:
- Setbacks are the required buffers (typically about 12 feet) between your structure and your neighbors’ lot lines. They also specify at least 20 feet of front yard and 25 feet of backyard.
- Lot coverage (sometimes referred to as Lot Coverage…
Monday, April 1st, 2013 at 11:46am. 91 Views, 0 Comments.
Visit HouseLogic.com for more articles like this. Reprinted from HouseLogic.com with permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®." www.HouseLogic.com.
5 Great Gardening Apps
Published: April 11, 2012
These apps take the guesswork out of gardening. All you have to do is dig.
Let’s just agree there’s an app for everything, and gardening is no exception. I tried out a number of apps for the iPhone (though some of these have Android versions) and picked a few that will help your garden grow.
1. Food Gardening Guide (free for iPhone, iPad, Android): Mother Earth News has produced this delightful and comprehensive guide on how to grow your own food. Chapters are titled “All About Growing…
Tuesday, March 26th, 2013 at 9:57am. 65 Views, 0 Comments.
How to Pick Paint Colors
Published: December 17, 2012
Paint has remodeling power when you use it to emphasize a room’s best features or play down the flaws.
“Paint is a powerful tool that can enhance the architectural character and intent of space,” says Minneapolis architect Petra Schwartze of TEA2 Architects. “As you choose your paint, think about what the experience in the room should be.”
More Schwartze advice:
- Always sample paint colors on a few walls. Don’t be shy about painting a few large swaths on walls and trim to consider the effect of natural and artificial lighting. Add samples to opposite sides of a room to judge the paint color from different angles.
- Check the space…