DIY Tips For How To Power Wash Siding

It’s not just the inside of a house that gets dirty. Exterior siding can accumulate a lot of dust and grime, even mildew. And because siding is the face we offer the street, even a little dirt shows. Some houses naturally accumulate more dirt than others. If you live along a dusty road or in a new development where lawns are not yet established, you can expect a daily barrage of grit and grime. Textured siding or peeling paint only compounds the problem. When dirt really settles in, the only remedy is a good cleaning with a pressure washer or a scrub brush. We prefer a pressure washer because it’s a lot less work.

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While cleaning is the focus here, pressure washers also have long been used in paint prep. Handled correctly, a pressure washer can actually strip away peeling paint. It can also scour the surface chalk from aging paint, making a better bonding surface. Wood siding will need a week to dry, and you’ll still have to do some scraping. Of course, it’s not for every situation,

How Much Does A Fence Cost

Before installing a fence, the first thing all homeowners need to know is the average price. Fence installation costs vary based on the type and size of your chosen fence and therefore, makes research difficult and long. We have simplified the process and gathered the average prices for the most popular fences on the market. If you have ever wondered how much a fence costs, than this article is your answer.

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Overview of Fencing Costs

First off, installing a fence can be a DIY project, but I will warn you that it is not the easiest home remodeling job. Hiring a professional is the safer route, but as you probably expect, it is also the costlier one.

You must consider your individual needs before purchasing and choosing a fence. Higher fences will not only take longer to install, but are more expensive. The materials are heavier and more difficult to work with.

Chain link fences are the cheapest to purchase and easiest to install. Made from composed galvanized steel or aluminum wrapped with PVC, these fences not

7 Tips To Make Your House Smell Better

When you own a house, it’s easy to get comfortable in your space and fail to notice when it’s time to make changes. You get busy working, the kids and pets are running around, and before you know it, there are smells coming from places you didn’t know existed.

Odors in the home don’t have to be a common occurrence. There are ways to prevent and maintain a home that not only looks good, but smells good too. See seven easy DIY solutions for freshening up your home so you’ve got pleasant odors roaming your space.

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1. Eliminate Garbage Disposal Odors

Your garbage disposal could be wreaking more havoc in your home than you might realize. Food and grime build up over time and start to seep through to your kitchen and beyond. Start by running some lemon, lime or orange peels through your disposal to eliminate any odors. It’s said that the acid in the fruit kills some of the odor causing bacteria.

Also, if you’re an advocate of baking soda, this cleaning tip is

Forecasting the Unexpected Home Improvement Retailers and Emergency Response

Home improvement stores are not only a key resource for bathroom renovations or spring gardening needs; they also serve as the go-to source when a thunderstorm knocks out power, a hurricane strikes, or a tornado touches down. Home improvement retailers, therefore, must plan for the unexpected demands that can accompany a natural disaster, as well as the expected demands as seasons change.

The home improvement industry is expected to reach $143.6 billion in 2014, according to research firm IBISWorld. With their huge assortment of merchandise, home improvement stores already face the challenge of working with carriers and logistics providers to guarantee an uninterrupted flow of goods. But add a natural disaster or major weather event, and the pressure is on to strategically and efficiently move products to customers in impacted areas.

Poised to React

Addressing unpredictable demand is all about being prepared. For Dave Moore, emergency response captain for Atlanta-based Home Depot, addressing these needs is a year-round endeavor. The company operates key distribution centers around the country to react quickly to natural disasters.

“A field team of 61 regional managers supports Home Depot’s emergency response effort,” says Moore. “They work directly with stores,

EPDM Liners Should Be A Basic For Any Pond Repair

Pond repair kits are a necessity for any pond owner. In order to address the natural wear and tear that results in rips, cracks and holes in pond liners, a handy tool kit can be a lifesaver. But what you keep in that kit can make all the difference and no smart owner should be without some PondPro. It also has a 25 year history of success and backed by a 5 year warranty.

Traditional tools for pond repair can include tape, adhesive and rollers for patching together and smoothing over seams and cracks. But even the best quality tapes and adhesives can still give way over time, leaving you back to the drawing board with the same problem you had originally. Only EPDM liners can provide a quick, easy and durable solution for all of your repair needs.

PondPro contains all of the same substances as traditional liners but in an easily manipulated form that enables it to cover any size or shape pond. This flexibility along with an amazing durability makes liquid liner a basic addition to all Pond repair kits. As a matter of fact, once you�ve used liquid liner all other means of repair will pale

Driveway Gates an ideal way to finish off your drive

When it comes to your home, you want it to be as unique as you are as first impressions are very important. It makes sense to start with the part of your house that everyone will see first � your gates and railing. Wrought iron driveway gates are an ideal way to finish off your drive. You can give your home that wow factor with new iron driveway gates.

Driveway gates and fences will enhance the beauty, privacy and security of your home. A driveway gate extends your home security to the boundaries of your property, and in a time where people are increasingly worried about their security adding an iron gate at the driveway entrance has become popular. Having a secure fence and gate can be a great comfort, particularly if your house lies in an area of heavy traffic. In addition to the security benefits, adding a gate also contains animals, clearly marks property lines and makes a huge aesthetic improvement to your home.

When you choose an iron driveway gate for your home you can be confident in the knowledge that they are known for their strength and endurance. This makes them less likely to break or

What You Ought To Know About Windows For Your Homes

The way they are constructed, makes double hung windows very popular. Cleaning double hung windows are easier than windows based on a spiral or string system because they won’t allow the sash to drop out when you are cleaning them. Double hung windows tilt in a way that uses a flush fitting tilt release which is more attractive than screwed in tilt release systems that are more commonly used. You may find that choosing a quality window is difficult because of the overwhelming number of options. A solid warranty offered by a quality manufacturer as well as your budget should be important factors in the window decision you make. Windows are a large investment and if you pick wisely you can save money over the long run by improving your energy efficiency. In order to save money in the future you may be wise to spend a little more on your windows now..

Quality doors add to the curb appeal of a home and also enhance your home’s security. Block the noise outside from entering your home with a well built door which will provide a sound barrier. Energy efficiency is the most important door feature to have. Well

Don’t Miss These Home Tax Deductions

One of the neatest deductions itemizing homeowners can take advantage of is the mortgage interest deduction, which you claim on Schedule A. To get the mortgage interest deduction, your mortgage must be secured by your home — and your home can be a house, trailer, or boat, as long as you can sleep in it, cook in it, and it has a toilet.

Interest you pay on a mortgage of up to $1 million — or $500,000 if you’re married filing separately — is deductible when you use the loan to buy, build, or improve your home.

If you take on another mortgage (including a second mortgage, home equity loan, or home equity line of credit) to improve your home or to buy or build a second home, that counts towards the $1 million limit.

If you use loans secured by your home for other things — like sending your kid to college — you can still deduct the interest on loans up $100,000 ($50,000 for married filing separately) because your home secures the loan.

Prepaid Interest Deduction

Prepaid interest (or points) you paid when you took out your mortgage is generally 100% deductible in the year you paid it along with other

Hot Water Installation

Hot water heaters are one of the many appliances we do not fully appreciate until it stops working. Believe it not, despite its large exterior and solid metal, steel or copper, hot water heaters do malfunction and require replacement or new installation.

While installing a new hot water heater is certainly not a project for the faint, it can be done in one day with the necessary tools and steps. Below, see when it’s time to replace your hot water, how to install a hot water heater and the total installation cost.

When to Replace Hot Water Heater

Unlike other prominent appliances around the home, there are a few telltale signs your hot water heater needs to be replaced. If you start to see a small puddle or slow drip under your hot water heater, it’s on its way out. Within a day or two, you should see a trail of water slowly running away from the heater. Either way, your tank has rusted and that can not be repaired. If water is dripping from your hot water heater, replace it as soon as you can.

Additionally, and perhaps even more obvious, is the

The Hidden Costs of Buying & Maintaining A Swimming Pool

The Hidden Costs of Buying & Maintaining A Swimming Pool

A bright swimming pool on a sunny summer afternoon is always filled with smiles, laughs and all around fun. Swimming pools are great for the family and increasing your home’s value, but they also come with many maintenance items that will lighten your pockets.

Before installing a new outdoor swimming pool, be sure to see the most common costs of buying and maintain a swimming pool.

Costs of Inground vs. Above Ground Pools

Off the bat, all homeowners should know that inground swimming pools are more expensive to install than above ground. You will have to dig a very large hole to place the pool and this can only be done by a swimming pool professional. On average, the cost of installing a new inground swimming pool runs between $14,961 and $21,649. Choosing a pool installed at the ground level won’t require excavation (save $$$). In fact, the cost of an above ground pool is typically a third of that price. They rarely cost more than $4,500 to purchase and professionally install. To see the price in your area, check out our swimming pool

Gutter Protection Breakdown

You may not realize the importance of keeping your gutters clear and debris free, but if your gutter system is often left neglected and abused, you can wind up with serious and costly home repairs.

Clogged and damaged gutters can lead to problems like foundation problems, structural issues, landscape erosion, basement flooding and water damage. One way to protect your home from severe damage is to invest in a gutter protection system.

A gutter protection system is a product that either attaches to your existing gutters, or replaces your entire gutter system, with the intent of allowing only debris to enter your gutters, while water is safely carried through your gutters and diverted away from your home.

From DIY solutions to professionally installed gutter protection systems, let’s face it – gutter protection can be overwhelming. That’s why, at LeafFilter, we want to educate you about the pros and cons of the different types of gutter protection systems. The following will inform you about the different type of gutter protection systems so you can find the system that meets your needs.

DIY Gutter Protection Systems

DIY gutter systems are relatively inexpensive systems that are installed

How To Prevent Water Damage To Your Foundation

Your home’s foundation can fail for any number of reasons, ranging from sudden tectonic shifts to gradual soil erosion. Though one of the most common causes of foundation failure is water damage, both from inside and outside your home.

Although water damage is one of the most popular sources of foundation problems, it is also one of the most preventable. When caught early enough, fixing this issue is quite affordable. In fact, many of the tips below are suggestions you can do entirely by yourself.

Preventing Water Damage Inside Your Home

Leaks are the most obvious telltale sign of water damage. If you notice any hissing pipes, clogged toilets or dripping faucets, you might have to bring in a professional to address these issues (unless you’re an experienced DIY plumber).

Less-obvious warning signs include things like:

  • Rot & mold
  • Crumbling concrete
  • Stains & discoloration
  • Backed up sump pumps & septic tanks

However, some damage remains invisible until it is too late such as busted pipes under the floor or loose valves behind the wall. However, you can assess the damage indirectly by turning off the water main for a few hours and seeing if the meter changes. If it

Sick of Winter? These Houseplants Will Perk Up Your Mood

Real talk: “JanuFeb” can be grim. The holidays are a distant memory, and now you have to slog through a barrage of dark, frigid days until spring makes its glorious appearance.

To escape that persistent winter funk, shake off that heated Snuggie and take a trip to the garden center. Studies suggest that stocking your home full of humble houseplants can boost your mood, big time — not to mention make your space feel cleaner, brighter, and healthier.

The Power of a Flower

Scientists agree that houseplants likely improve your outlook. Research suggests that plants have a positive effect on stress reduction, pain tolerance, and physical discomfort — but environmental psychologists aren’t exactly sure why this happens. It could be that plants simply make a room more colorful and attractive. Or, an indoor brush with nature may provide the same natural high and stress relief people feel in the great outdoors. There’s even a name for the phenomenon — biophilia (a love for nature) — and entire buildings have been designed to recreate it.

Keeping all those green guys alive is good for you, too. Research has shown taking care of plants can increase a sense

How Basement Underpinning Can Increase Your Home’s Value

With the cost of housing increasing each year, buyers are always looking for the most value for their money. Smart homeowners recognize that they can add house value through bathroom and kitchen remodeling, basement waterproofing or increasing square footage with basement underpinning.

Utilitarian basements are no longer sufficient for today’s family needs, and older floor plans are typically considered old fashioned and impractical unless improvements have been made. Even with basement remodel costs added in, you’ll get top dollar and a great return on investment when selling your home if it includes a trendy entertainment room, office space or kitchenette. Let’s explore how basement underpinning can help.

What is Basement Underpinning?

Underpinning refers to the process of reinforcing an existing, unstable foundation or lowering the basement floor to increase the overall ceiling height. In both cases, the basement floor and soil underneath is excavated out and replaced at a lower level.

Today’s underpinning methods have remained very similar to those done a hundred years ago. The uses and benefits, however, are very different.

What is Required?

The main purpose for basement underpinning is either to strengthen the existing foundation or to vertically

What Every Homeowner Should Do to Prep Their Yard for Spring

In recent winter months, snowmen were the only detectable “life” in your yard. But now that Frosty has succumbed to puddlehood, it’s time to get ready for spring! Jumpstart your lawn resuscitation as soon as the ground defrosts, and you’ll avoid a muddy disaster zone come April — not to mention ignite your neighbors’ envy. Here’s what to do:

1.  Assess the Mess

“As soon as you can stand being outdoors for an extended period of time, see what hand you’ve been dealt by Mother Nature,” says Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for the National Association of Landscape Professionals.

Case your property for thrown branches, dead leaves, and other debris. Clear it away so you’re able to do a general inspection of your soil, lawn, trees, shrubs, and garden structures. See what grass is coming back — or not. Get rid of broken tree limbs; call an arborist if they look dangerous. Now’s the time to take stock and make a plan.

Related: How to Tell If Your Tree Is About to Fall Over

2.  Rake and Wake

Just as you like to hunker down on those dark winter days, so, too, do your grass and trees. “As

Declutter Your Home Why Being Organized Saves You Money

If you’ve ever accrued a late fee after losing a bill, thrown away spoiled peaches you forgot to eat, or bought yet another pair of sunglasses because you couldn’t find yours, then you know being disorganized can cost you money.

At best, clutter in the home causes mistakes, late fees, overdue payments, and missed deadlines. At worst, a house in chaos can eat away at your finances, mar your credit, and reduce your productivity. That’s a whopping price to pay for being disorganized.

According to an Ikea “Life at Home” survey, 43% of Americans admit to being disorganized, and the average American wastes 55 minutes per day looking for stuff they’ve lost or misplaced.

“Do you think organizing is just for appearances?” asks Lisa Gessert, president of Organizing.buzz, a professional organizing service in Staten Island, N.Y. “Organizing your home is financially beneficial.” Gessert stresses to clients the need to sort, purge, assign things a home, and containerize. “This process saves people tons of money.”

Related: The Link Between Clutter and Depression

Here’s why being organized saves you money, and how to get your home into shape:

Disorganization in the Home Office Costs You:

  • Lost papers = time spent looking for them,

Trendy Apartment Interior Decorating Ideas

With all of the possibilities to make the space your own, decorating your apartment can be a fun project. But if you don’t know what you want to do, simply going to Pinterest for inspiration can be overwhelming.

So many ideas with so little time! That’s why we have a few great, trendy and easy ideas for apartment interior decorating. These ideas can help you make your apartment look more inviting, more interesting and more like “home.”

Use Prints As Fun Accents

Using prints as accents means you don’t have to commit to any one specific look for too long. This is perfect for when you want to change things up. Ways to do this can include using trays as places to catch your knickknacks (keys, the mail, etc.). Or use throw pillows on your sofa and bed in unique prints and patterns.

Find out if you’ve got a bit of leeway with your landlord or property managers and see if you can change the color of the walls. If so, try painting a chevron wall or using wallpaper in your favorite pattern.

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5 Questions to Ask Before All Kitchen Remodels

So you have decided to remodel your kitchen and get to work. Before you start tearing down walls, homeowners must realize that kitchen remodels take strategy, commitment, patience and of course, money. Whether you decided to do it yourself or hire a contracting professional, there are important questions all homeowners must answer. We narrowed it down to five essential questions you must ask yourself before any kitchen remodel.

1. What is in the Kitchen Remodeling Budget?

Just like remodeling a bathroom or any room in your home, the first question you MUST ask yourself before remodeling your kitchen is what’s in the budget? As we referenced recently in the Benefits of Kitchen Remodels, the average kitchen remodel costs right around $17,000. That is a lot of money to some. Therefore, it is imperative to plan wisely and come up with a budget for your remodeled kitchen.

A budget keeps contractors and homeowners on an even keel to ensure their heads or aspirations are not getting any larger than their pockets. Kitchen remodeling costs get extreme, but budgets ensure that homeowners stay within their means when it comes to remodeling one of the most popular rooms

How To Install A Heat Pump

Many homeowners have to deal with subfreezing temperatures every winter, but many others are fortunate to live in warmer (or somewhat warm) climates. If you fall in the latter, a heat pump is the ideal HVAC system for you.

Heat pump installation is no easy task, but some homeowners are up for the challenge. Below, I will show you all the steps and tools needed to install a heat pump without a professional.

Note: Only experienced DIYers should attempt this project. If you need help installing your new heat pump, please contact an HVAC pro near you.

How Heat Pumps Work

Heat naturally moves to areas with lower temperatures, but if you want heat to stay or move to a specific room, a heat pump is ideal. Heat pumps use electricity to move heat from a cool area to a warm one, which makes the warm space warmer in the winter and the cool space cooler in the summer. Heat pumps can either increase or decrease temperatures.

As you can imagine, heat pumps are energy efficient, compared to boilers and furnaces, and inexpensive solutions for those who spend a fortune on utility bills (more

Everything You Need to Know About Tile, Hardwood & Carpet Flooring

Besides the kitchen and bathroom, a home’s flooring is frequently chosen as the next home remodeling project. Over the years, new options have come to life, like cork or bamboo flooring, but one preference that remains a top choice across America is tile.

Whether it’s the abundance of tile options available, their durable nature or ease in maintenance, tile floors remain the most popular selection on the market. Despite carpet’s prominence or the sudden rise in hardwood flooring, tile flooring offers unique advantages these other flooring options do not.

Based on installation, repairs, cost, durability and design, I will show you why tile floors are better than carpet or hardwood.

Installing Tile Flooring

Tile floors work great for bathrooms, kitchens and hallways because they can withstand the everyday wear and tear that comes with these highly trafficked rooms. Installing tile may be a DIY task for some ambitious homeowners, but there is a lot of labor involved as well as materials, like a wet saw. To professionally install tile floors, expect to pay around $3,724 for 500 square feet.

Installing Hardwood Flooring

Along with it’s popularity, hardwood flooring costs continue to rise