Bring Your Home Back to Life

Month: October 2020

General Article

How To Install A Whole-House Water Filter


Does your water have a funky taste and smell to it?

Have you put a water filter on your kitchen faucet to address your funky water taste and smell issues. If you have, and this has not fixed the problem, then you need to install a whole house water filter.

“I need 24 hour plumbers near me.” Someone who is an expert, who is certified, and who knows what he’s doing. I need a neighborhood plumber.

Things you must know

  • Locate the main water feed that comes into your house
  • Locate the ball shut-off valve (every homeowner should know this just in case)
  • Locate your water meter.


The water comes in through this pipe, and out through to the whole house.

Now, what you want to do is cut into this pipe in two parts.

Start with the pre-filter. The water comes into the filter to the spun-woven cylinder where all particles are picked up. Example… If they work on the water main in the street, or if there is any dirt and rust, it will actually come through to the spun-woven fiber and get trapped here.

At this point we have not done anything for the taste or odor, we have only protected the large cylinder filter.

The large cylinder filter is actually filled with granulated activated carbon, which is actually no different than the filter on your kitchen faucet. This whole house water filter also uses granulated carbon. As the water passes through it, it will clean up the taste and odor and really sweeten up the water, so now all I have to do is pipe it all in.


  • Turn the main water valve off.
  • Attach a piece of plywood to the wall using a masonry bit and concrete screws, this will serve as a nice base to mount the bracket for the pre-filter.
  • It is important to clean the pipes before making any connections. If the pipes are not cleaned before making any connections, the metal solder may not fill the joint properly.
  • If there is not a draw out, you can do it the old fashion way by cutting into the pipe and draining the excess water out into a bucket.
  • Use adapter fittings to transition the piping from the plastic filter’s housing to the copper.
  • Solder away from the filter to avoid melting the plastic.

Extra Precaution

I put in a shut-off valve (ball valve) as a precautionary measure. Now, there are shut-off valves which should always be in the open position, and there is one bypass valve that should always be in the closed position. The reason for this is because someday the filters will be clogged. If it is collecting impurities, sooner or later it will clog and need service. This bypass shut-off valve has been installed so as to allow you, or another plumber, to shut the other two shut-off valves and to open the bypass shut-off valve so water can continue to flow into the home. This is to be used when the water filtration system is being serviced.

Say “Hello” to your new water filtering system. Time to turn the water on.

Alright, your new whole house water filter is in, the water is back on. I have taken off the filter off the kitchen spout. You now have not only filtered water here, but at every faucet in this house.

You may taste your water now. It tastes really good!

Home Maintenance

5 Important Tips For Buying Your First Home

If you’ve lived in a rented home, or if you’ve lived with your parents until now, buying your first home can be an overwhelming or a great experience, depending on how you approach the entire project. There are some important issues that you need to keep in mind in order to make buying a first home a success.
The first thing you need to check is your available budget. While we’d like to have many beautiful homes, sadly we can’t afford them all. This is why going in a realistic way about it is most of the times the best ways to actually get the perfect home. For example if your budget is about $100,000, search for homes a bit below that budget to avoid overspending. Once you bought that home, there are many things that you will need to pay in addition, and unless you have some extra money set aside, you will have a tough time with your first home.
Next, you should choose your location wisely based on your family requirements. You might have kids that go to school, so finding a place near the school or at least near easy access to transportation is a must. On the other hand, you might be tired of living in the big city, so a suburban area might be more attractive to you. Usually the suburbs are cheaper than the middle of the city so you might be able to find some good deals there.
Then you need to consider what amenities you need your home to have. For example, your might want to invest in a bathtub, whereas for other people this is a secondary requirement. Or you might want to have that gorgeous fireplace that you want to use for sitting and relaxing in front of it during the nights. Or you might want to house with a basement which you can use as a laundry room.
When it comes to the space inside the house, you have to decide how many rooms you actually need. If you’ve lived in a condo or apartment, moving to a house might be what you actually need. However if you’ve lived with your parents and all you need now is to find a small place of your own where you can start your independent life, a small 2 bedroom apartment might be just the perfect way to get started.
And lastly, you might have to think about compromise. If your expectations are way too high, you might never find your dream house. So make sure that you have plenty of homes to choose from and even if the place you like most might need some repairs, if it’s cheap enough and it fulfills most of your criteria, go for it. You might just be able to turn it into the home where you will live for the rest of your life.…

General Article

7 Electrical Wiring Issues Solved


Your safety when it comes to matters concerning household electrical is very vital to you and your property. Electrical problems always give you signs and symptoms before they cause damages. In case you find your lights keep on flickering or high energy bills from nowhere and if your appliances keep getting damaged are some of the sure signs that your electric circuit needs to get checked. To your surprise, you may find that your problem is simply a wiring issue. Below are some of the seven common wiring issues that when spotted, needs to be solved.

  1. Overlamping

Overlamping in simple terms refers to a situation where a fixture has a light bulb that has a higher wattage rather than what the fixture get designed for. It is usually a classic case of an electrical code violation.

The violation leads to high-level danger classification, as the bulb produces intense heat that may scorch or even in some instances melt the socket and wire insulation. There is a grave danger in this kind of situation as chances of causing electrical fire are very high.

The solution to this kind of problem is limiting your electrical appliances to the wattage recommended 60-watt bulbs or below.

  1. Junction Boxes left uncovered

The junction box is the place where splices get held, and electrical wires are connected. Damages to cables may cause a shock or other electrical injuries. Similarly, by any electrical terms, this is a clear code violation.

The danger level posed by this problem is relatively minimal only if the wires are not within reach.

The solution to uncovered junction boxes is straightforward as you are only required to buy a new cover and make sure it gets installed with the screws provided.

  1. Lights flickering and it’s not windy

Flickering lights when it’s not windy is not an electrical code violation. Flickering lights are a sign that cables are causing shorts when they move. According to electrical safety standards, light flickering gets classified as a high danger alert. Apart from the annoyance associated with flickering, chances of electrical fire starting are relatively high.

It’s advisable upon noticing this problem you contact your all day electrician or your utility provider and have your weather head replaced.

  1. Few power Outlets

When you have few power outlets for your heavy electrical consumption causes cases of high dependency on power strips and extension cords. Few power outlets get not classified as electrical code violation but its standard practice to have receptacles around 4 feet to 12 feet of the doorway.

This kind of violation poses minimal danger level only if your wiring gets done with a heavy-duty extension cord above gauge 14. Electrical fire may erupt in situations where undersized extension cords get used on heavy load.

The solution to this problem is simple as you only need to add more power outlets.

  1. No GFCIs

No GFCIs increases chances of electrocution if you are in wet areas like the kitchen and bathroom. GFCI refers to ground fault circuit interrupters. They are quite essential as they are responsible for shutting down the circuit in a record 4 seconds. The solution to this problem is contacting your all day electrician to assist in replacing your old receptacles.

  1. Over wired panel

It means that your panel has more circuits than it is required or rated to handle. Each panel board comes with a label that specifies the circuit it’s supposed to accommodate. The danger level is minimal.

  1. Aluminum wiring

This problem is usually encountered in old houses built in the ’60s, and 70’s when aluminum wiring got used. Today this kind of wiring is no longer considered safe for any wiring use. Such type of wiring poses a high danger risk even though it is not an electrical code violation.

General Article

Selecting a Fence for Your House Plans

Selecting a Fence for Your House Plans

Fences come in many shapes and sizes but before selecting one check zoning and homeowners association regulations about building on your property and in your neighborhood. They sometimes regulate style, size, and placement, or if enclosing a portion of the yard is even allowed in the area at all. Some towns require that a fence be set a couple of feet off the property line. Once you know all the regulations you will be on your way to selecting the style of fence for your house plans.

The purpose of the fence

As you consider the style of fence think about what you want the fence to do. Is the fence intended to keep pets and children in the yard, is it for privacy, or to secure a swimming pool, or is it simply to add style and texture to your yard? Once you know this you will be prepared to select your fence style: privacy, semi-privacy, or decorative.

The style of the fence

Privacy fences are typically constructed of solid panels and are a height at eye-level or higher. Semi-privacy fences usually have solid panels and maybe some lattice work at the top, or there is shadow box style where individual fence panels alternate on either side of the support boards. Decorative fences have pickets which help to keep children and pets safely inside the yard. The other option is to plant a natural, or living, fence. These can be created out of arborvitaes or some other tall hedge bush. They offer privacy as well as being good at absorbing sound.

The style of the fence should match, or complement, the style of the house plans architecture as well as the landscaping. Be sure to research how boards can be cut, the various cap options, lattice options, and if there will be gates in the fence.

The fence material

Once you know what the fence should do and what style of fence you’d like you can select the material that the fence is made of: wood, vinyl, aluminum, or steel. Wood fences have a traditional appeal however, they require more maintenance and need to be cleaned, stained, or painted, periodically to keep them looking nice. Vinyl fences only require an occasional rinsing. Vinyl doesn’t fade or rot and comes in options similar to wood. Aluminum also requires very little maintenance. Steel requires paint every few years to keep it looking nice.

Component vs. panel

Another option to consider is if you’d like a component or panel fence. A component fence is usually wood and is built onsite one piece, or component, at a time which can take a little longer to build but is sometimes preferred since it can more easily follow the natural lay of the land. Panel fences are made of pre-constructed panels. Most metal and vinyl fences are only available as panels and cannot be built onsite. Wood fences sometimes come this way too. Panels can make it easier to build your fence but they do not follow the contours of the land so they have to follow the grade, or curves, in a stair-step manner.


The size, style, and material will all influence the cost. A larger fenced in yard will require more materials than a small fenced in area. A chain link fence or wrought iron fence will incur a different cost than a wooden fence. A short wooden fence will cost less than a tall wooden privacy.

To select the right fence for your house plans consider all of the options. Begin by understanding the purpose of the fence and then you will be on your way to a fence that’s perfect for your home and yard.…

Renovation House

How to Complete a Home Renovation Project Quickly and On Time

It is rare to meet someone who has undergone a home renovation that hasn’t complained that it took too long. Having worked on home renovation projects of varying scales for homeowners getting their house ready to sell or prior to move in or even when they’re living in the home, I have found that there are certain things that help make a project move quickly and efficiently. Whenever I see projects drag on and on for months, even years, it’s because they’re lacking in one or more of these areas. Granted, there are things that come up that are out of your control, but I can promise that if you follow the tips below, you’ll reduce your project timeline significantly.

First and foremost, Have a Plan – Sounds simple enough right? I want to renovate my kitchen or bath. That’s a start, but there’s much more to it than that. Consult with your contractor about your project and find out a realistic time frame to start and complete the work. I recommend you get a calendar and use it as a project tracker. If it’s going to take 6 weeks for example, mark what the finish date is on the calendar. Then, reverse engineer or back track everything that needs to be done and assign a date to everything. For example, Day 1 Demolition, Day 2 Remove popcorn ceiling, Day 3 electrical rough-in, etc. This will also help you know what materials you need and when. For example, if you’re doing demolition on Day 1, you’ll need a dumpster on site. If you’re hiring a General Contractor to work on your project, they will handle these details, but it’s good to ask what you need to provide and what they will provide. If you are installing cabinets on Day 30, and it takes 4 weeks to order the cabinets, that means you need to get the floor plan designed immediately so that an order can be placed and delivered in time.

Have a realistic budget. How will you fund your project? Savings? Loan? Credit Cards? A gut kitchen or bath renovation is not inexpensive. Be prepared to spend several thousand dollars even on the low end. Make a list of everything you’ll need: cabinets, flooring, lighting, appliances, fixtures, sinks, disposal, toilet, tub, knobs, and more. Also, who is going to do the work. Is this a DIY project or will you be employing professionals? If you’re going with the DIY route, be realistic about your abilities and how much time you have to contribute to the renovation considering your other responsibilities – full time job, family, etc.

Know What You Want. Do you have a particular style that you like? How do you want the space to function? How do you envision using the space? What all needs to fit in the space? In the kitchen, consider storage for all the dishes, pots, bakeware, glassware and cookbooks. In the bathroom, consider the number and kind of people using the space (adults, children, pets, guests), storage needs, privacy, etc. These are important things to consider so that you can design a space that fits your lifestyle. Additionally, what kind of material do you want for flooring, countertops, cabinets, etc. Doing some research in advance will help you narrow choices to fit within your budget. If you truly don’t have any idea, I recommend looking through trade magazines and tearing out pictures of rooms that speak to you. Put together an inspiration folder which will help you and/or a designer create your dream space.

Have Your Vendors Lined Up. Whether this is a DIY project or completely outsourced, you need to have the right people to help you. Get referrals from friends and family who have had good experiences. Use online referral resources. If there are red flags, listen and turn the other way. A good friend of mine and her husband used a contractor to renovate their bathroom in their old home and had a horrible time getting him to complete the job in the time frame he promised. When they moved into a new home and was interviewing contractors, they considered him again even though their previous experience was not good. Guess what? They had a similar, if not, worse experience when they hired him to work on their gut kitchen remodel and ultimately had to hire someone to finish the work. Price for services should be a consideration, but never the determining factor.

Have all Your Materials Chosen and Purchased. This is extremely important because without material, the contractor can’t do anything. Last thing you want is a contractor showing up at the job site ready to work and not being able to. By creating the project timeline with your contractor initially, you know what the general time frame …

Basement Remodeling

Money Saving Kitchen Design Tips

So we have compiled this money saving kitchen design tips feature to help you update your kitchen on a budget. And keep an eye out over the next few weeks as we add more to the list.
1. Do not automatically head to your kitchen retailer for new cabinets. Instead, sand them down and using thinned white house paint brush it over the surface. Wait a few moments and then wipe the surface. This will give you a fantastic mottled paint look that brings out the grain in your wood. Seal it with a wax for that quality finish
2. Pick up packs of Christmas Lights during the January sales and remove the coloured covers. The remaining white bulbs can then be tacked under cabinets and in hidden alcoves to add some cool new kitchen lighting.
3. Purchase some clear glass jars and store dry food in them such as pulses, nuts and seeds. This can add colour, texture and a ‘foodie’ feel to your kitchen design.
4. Create a kitchen wall border or some texture to your kitchen cabinets with a small piece of sponge and some paint. You can even add it to the hem of your curtains!
5. Create your own wooden cutting board by heading to the local builders’ merchants and asking for an off cut of pine or oak. Take it home a carefully sand it down using various grades of sandpaper. You can then varnish or stain it and smooth off any edges to create an ‘expensive’ cutting board.
6. Repaint the kitchen walls. It is amazing what difference a lick of paint can make. Think carefully about adding a new colour to the theme too as this can really bring your tired kitchen alive.
7. Add some fabric to the mix by looking for a new tablecloth or curtain design as this can be a very cost effective way of reinvigorating your kitchen space.
8. Create a fake stone look for your kitchen worktops by learning how to create a fauz stone finish using paints (Google: Faux Stone Finish). To do it you need to prime your worktops with a special primer and this needs to dry for several hours before you can then start painting over the top. The results can be very impressive.…

Remodeling Contractors

Kitchen Cabinet Ideas – Affordable Ways to Give Your Kitchen a New Look

Every spring, most families find it the right time to also help their kitchen turn a new leaf. Hence, they try to think of a lot of kitchen cabinet ideas that would not be so expensive but still be able to implement some change to the overall look of the kitchen.
It is not kept from anyone that the cheapest way to do this is by just painting your old cabinets new. You must expect that through time, your cabinets may have built up enough amount of grease and grime that it would definitely need some thorough cleaning.
So one of the most effective kitchen cabinet ideas is to clean them first with an all purpose cleaner and give it some good amount of scrubbing. Then allow it to totally dry up. Before you start with the painting job, cover first all the other parts of the kitchen like the flooring, the countertops and other appliances for stain protection.
You can also settle for just giving your kitchen cabinets a brand new finish. Remember that refacing is a much convenient way to give your kitchen cabinet a fresh look. You can settle for the oak or maple finish if you want a traditional look since pine is a successful tool in bringing in a country feel to your home.
To change your kitchen cabinet hardware is also one of the most effective kitchen cabinet ideas that you can consider doing. The hardware in the kitchen can be found tarnished, damaged or outdated through time. This cannot usually be helped.
So if you would try to change the hardware, it can already have a new appeal. Just make sure that what you will get would still match and complement the original design of the cabinets and the kitchen. As a golden rule, remember always that dark toned hardware goes well with the light touches and finishes.
Another possible kitchen cabinet ideas is the replacement of kitchen countertops. If you still want to do this task yourself, then you can just simply resurface it with the use of some plastic laminate. This would even protect your countertop from the cuts that the kitchen knife can do each time chopping is done over it.
But if you have the budget, then do not hesitate to get someone to really replace the entire countertop for this would surely add aesthetic value not just to your kitchen but to your home.…