Bring Your Home Back to Life

Month: May 2022

Home Maintenance

Bathroom Makeover Tips Before You Sell Your House

When you’re preparing to sell your home, it’s important to remember that the first impressions you give to prospective buyers are often the ones that last. So it makes sense to undertake simple improvements that can be completed relatively quickly and cheaply in key areas. A bathroom makeover is a great way to improve the look of this part of the house — particularly if you feel that it’s an area that lets the rest of your home down and might put off potential purchasers.
Some homeowners decide to go in for a major rehab project before they put their house on the market. But unless you’re sure that you can recoup the expense that you’d be investing with a full bathroom remodel, it may be better to make cosmetic changes and improve the look of the fixtures and fittings that you already have with some simple cleaning and decorating tactics.
So how do you start fixing up your bathroom to maximize its appeal without having to spend a lot of time and money on a major remodeling project? Here are some suggestions to get you started:
Cleaning: it goes without saying that when you’re getting ready to sell your house, everything needs to be sparkling clean — and this is especially important in a bathroom. As well as the bath tub and sink, make sure the floor mats, walls and countertops are clean. Get rid of lime scale around faucets and plug holes, clean grout (you can find a special grout cleaning pen for the purpose) and polish glass shelves and steel or chrome fixtures.
Check Seals and Fixtures: even if major fittings such as the bath, basin or toilet are in good repair, the seals around them may be damaged or cracked, grungy or leaky. You can remove damaged or badly stained sealant and replace it at little cost, often greatly enhancing the overall appearance. If your bath is worn or chipped, consider having it resurfaced if you don’t want to go to the expense of replacing it entirely. If your faucets are old-fashioned or showing signs of wear and tear, it may be a good idea to invest in new ones.
Resolve Bathroom Moisture Problems: water is a key element in the bathroom, of course. But over time, poor ventilation or leaks can cause water stains, peeling paint or even mold growth. A serious mold problem can require professional inspection and treatment, so it’s important to control humidity levels through good ventilation and use specialist cleaning products to prevent mold growth. Blistering paint or other surface damage may also require treatment.
De-clutter: clear away personal items and toiletries from your countertops. Having clear surfaces may make these areas seem larger and will de-personalize the space, allowing house viewers to imagine their own belongings in the room. For the same reason, it may help to replace your favorite patterned towels or shower curtain with plain white or cream alternatives.…

General Article

Types of Organic Vegetable Garden Fertilizer

Types of Organic Vegetable Garden Fertilizer

These days, due to the detrimental effects of chemical fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides, there has been a strong trend towards organic vegetable gardening. Actually organic gardening is merely the old-fashioned way of gardening and going back to basics. The main difference between organic and conventional vegetable gardening is how fertilization and pest control is done. In organic vegetable gardening, fertilization and pest control are done without synthetic fertilizers or manufactured pesticides. In this article, I wish to focus on how to fertilize your vegetables in organic vegetable gardening.

Before adding any form of fertilizer, remove all weeds, rocks, stones, debris and any other unwanted materials in your soil. Generally, organic vegetable gardening involves applying organic matter to the soil in place of manufactured substances. When it comes to fertilizing the soil, the organic matter pertaining to this is green manure, compost and animal manure. Be sure to add this organic matter to your soil at least four weeks before planting your seeds to give enough time for the nutrients to be absorbed into the soil.

Green manure is primarily a type of cover crop grown to add nutrients and organic matter to the soil. These crops are grown primarily in the non-planting seasons of winter and fall and only for a certain period (until flowering or while green) before being plowed under and incorporated into the soil. They also serve to prevent the soil from eroding and compacting over the winter season. Green manure crops include mustard, clover, hairy vetch, buckwheat, alfalfa, lupine, rye etc.

Compost is another category of fertilizer for organic vegetable farming. Compost can either be bought from garden centers or be made yourself. To make compost, use garden or kitchen waste such as leaf and grass cuttings, stems, twigs, wood chips, plant parts etc. But do not include meat, bones, fish, animal waste, dairy products, weeds that have gone to seed, diseased plants or pesticide-laced plants.

Mix them in a compost bin or heap them up at a certain secluded section of your yard. Be sure not to get your compost wet through the rain or exposed to direct sunlight. Add some soil, a bit of water and ground limestone. Turn the mixture over once a week to aerate it. Leave this compost mixture to decompose over a few months. In about 4 to 6 months, your compost would have been decomposed into humus, which is natural fertilizer for your soil. Spread the humus out evenly over your soil before planting.

Among the most common animal manures are farmyard manure (farm animal feces) and farmyard slurry (liquid manure, usually farm animal urine). Animal manures are normally mixed with straw which has been used for animal bedding and has absorbed the feces and urine. Generally, animal manure can be used for at least 30 days. Animal manure may also include other animal products such as recycled wool, hair, feathers and blood. When applying, scatter each side of the rows of vegetables with the manure. However, manure isn’t a complete well-balanced fertilizer so it is advisable to add a rock phosphate and potash.

Using these natural fertilizers, organic vegetable gardening can produce vegetables that are not only delicious but nutritious and safe for consumption.…

General Article

Home Remodeling: How to Hire a Contractor to Remodel Your Home

Home Remodeling: How to Hire a Contractor to Remodel Your Home

Do you have a basement that you believe would work great as a home office? Do you have a room in your home you would like to redesign to better suit your needs, but have no idea where to begin? If so, then you need to hire a home remodeling contractor and let them share their expertise so you can have the space you want. Unfortunately, finding a home remodeling contractor can be intimidating, especially if you know very little about the construction process. So, to help you out, here are some questions and concerns to keep in mind as you begin to interview potential remodeling contractors.

• Punctuality: Is the contractor on time for appointments?

• Options: Regardless of your financial situation, you probably want multiple pricing options. After all, sometimes it may not matter the brand or product used, but other times, the price indicates quality or guarantee. If the contractor is not willing to give you price options, then you may want to take it upon yourself to find another contractor.

• What type of communication is there? Will there be daily progress reports of the work done and, if applicable, any issues that have arisen?

• How long have they been in business? You should look for a contractor who has been in business for a significant amount of time.

• What about their credentials and disciplinary history? Every state has different guidelines, so take some time to familiarize yourself with what your state requires. Once again, check with the BBB to see if there are any negative reports.

• Who is responsible for the insurance? If you are responsible for the insurance, then move on to another contractor. The contractor should carry their own liability and workers compensation.

• Remember, you don’t have to hire the first contractor you interview. In fact, you should get at least 3 bids (ideally 5) for the job. Many will typically opt for the median price. The contractor who is the lowest is most likely using inferior products, cutting corners or will tell you later into the job that it’s more difficult than anticipated or a product is more expensive than listed originally, and will ultimately cost you more than even the highest bid you received.

• There is more to hiring a contractor than just the price. You will be spending a fair amount of time with them and their crew. Think about whether you feel comfortable with their personality, background, methods and communication skills. Make sure everyone is clear on the job to be done and what it will entail.

• Signing on the dotted line: Before you sign the contract, be sure you understand what every element of the contract means and that it contains the following information: a work timetable, a description of the work, the materials that will be used, payment schedule and any other information related to the job.

• Payment: You should never pay more than 30% up front. Expect periodic payments throughout, with around 10% to be paid at completion.…

General Article

Tips to Stop Your Dog Jumping the Fence

Tips to Stop Your Dog Jumping the Fence

It is one of the most frustrating events that can happen when training a new dog – at some point in every day it jumps over the fence and gets away. While you have to be amazed at the levels of skill in escapology that some of these dogs display, it is nonetheless infuriating and can result in many lost hours trying to bring the poor thing back. It can also be dangerous for the dog itself and others, depending on the breed and disposition of the dog. So how can you stop this from happening in the first place, or make sure that it does not happen again? Here are some tips on keeping your dog from jumping over your fence and making away.

It is not necessarily an easy undertaking and certainly cannot be done overnight. To keep the dog away from the edge of the yard, you will need to build up a series of positive associations with staying within the fence. Effectively, the trick is to reward good behaviour and punish bad. This training is the most important and effective part of stopping your dog jumping the fence. As with all worthwhile work, it takes time and effort. Teach your dog to come to you, particularly by using food, and associate this with the word ‘come’. Soon, they will come without the food – use this to keep them away from the fence. There are many other methods readily available that can keep your dog away from the fence. Correction collars are very popular and give out an unpleasant smell whenever the dog goes outside an acceptable zone. Shock collars are also available, but can be painful and cruel for your dog, and are just likely to make a scared and miserable dog. A hose can also be used as a punishment for straying too far in a pinch.

Of course, behavioural training is the best way to keep your dog from jumping the fence, but there are other things you can do as well to stop them getting over the fence. The first thing to do is to get rid of anything that the dog might be able to use as a boost to get over the fence. These could be boxes or garden furniture left nearby the fence, or indeed almost anything. A tall fence with a strong gate is naturally a good way to stop the dog getting out. Some dogs are ingenious at escaping, and will use their paws to dig their way out of any situation. If this becomes a problem, use some chicken wire at the bottom of the fence to make it unpleasant for them to do this.

Of course, at the end of the day, you don’t want to rely on collars or fences – you want a dog that would stay at home without them. When it comes to this, it is all about finding the right mix of attention and discipline in training your dog.…

General Article

Useful Herb Gardening Information

Useful Herb Gardening Information

Herbs may be a very tolerant kind of plant but they need care nevertheless and here are a few areas that you should remember when you start an herb garden.

Before you start an herb garden clean up the area where the plants are going to be planted. This includes digging the soil to remove all weeds that may already be present, their roots and other organic matter. Dig up the soil thoroughly to ensure there are no lumps which will block the easy passage of water and disturb the growth of your herbs. Well rotted organic matter should also be included in the soil to increase its ability to retain water and keep the roots moist.

Most herbs can up by themselves and do not need any external assistance to extend themselves. But staking is an important thing to do in several varieties which need a support to grow up on. Use good quality stakes, available in many shapes and sizes for you choose from at your garden supply store. It is better to use a nice stake right from the beginning of the plant’s growth so that it grows to cover the stake which is no longer visible and the plant is growing healthy around it.

Weeding is also a very important thing you should regularly do when you start an herb garden. This is so as the weeds use up space and nutrition that is meant for the herbs and do not allow them to grow well. Also herbs being small plants are usually the same size as the weeds, so eliminating the weeds is necessary. Never allow the weeds to flower and remove them before they reach that stage as it become quite difficult after that with new weeds growing all over again and again.

Herbs do not need too much in terms of pesticides and chemical fertilizers. Try to incorporate as much nutrition as possible using organic matter and mulch. You don’t want to be taking a dish full of chemicals when you sit down to eat your home-grown herbs. That in a way defeats the purpose that you had in mind when you decided to start an herb garden.…

General Article

Home Improvement Can Be Fun!

Home Improvement Can Be Fun!

Home improvement and home remodeling can be an arduous task, but if you are really committed to redoing your home, it can be a very fun experience! Last summer I decided to do a little home improvement and home remodeling. I wanted to put in a jacuzzi in my backyard and redo my master bathroom. Some of it I was able to do on my own, but for the more tricky repairs, I called in a handy man to help me.

I decided to put in a jacuzzi in my backyard primarily for relaxation purposes. My husband also wanted a jacuzzi and so did my kids. So I went to a pool and jacuzzi store and picked out one we all agreed on. I had a handy man come in to do all of the digging and assembling. He had to dig a very big and deep hole in my backyard in order for the jacuzzi to fit there. It took him just about a week to put in. It came with ten powerful jets and five less powerful ones. The jacuzzi had steps all around the circumference, so you could enter in anyway. It was about five feet deep and had handle rails and a cover to cover it when it was not being used.

My husband and kids loved the new jacuzzi! They use it just about every night. Sometimes my husband will bring a book out there at night and just relax there reading his book. When it is a cold night, it feels so good to get into the boiling hot tub. The kids sometimes invite a friend or two over to enjoy the hot tub. They even asked me if they can have a jacuzzi birthday party. I guess I’ll have to think about that one.

The next task on my list after the building of the jacuzzi, was redoing my master bathroom. I knew what I had in mind. I wanted to retile the floors and walls, put in a new shower and bath, and pick out a new shower curtain, towels, and floor mat. The tiling my husband actually helped me do. We picked out a pearl-white tile color. We used small one by one inch tiles for the walls and one by one foot tiles for the floors. It was a very clean look. Then we had a handy man come in to put in a new shower and bath. The new shower had a shower head with stronger water pressure and it hung down vertically from the ceiling. We had the handy man make the bath larger. Before only one person could fit in there, now two people are able to fit comfortably in the tub.

Once all of the repairs were done, I was able to have fun and decorate. I picked out matching hand towels, bath towels, a curtain, and floor mat. They were all a cream color with one purple stripe. The cream color was used to match the tiles of course. I am really satisfied with my new home repairs and suggest everyone do a little remodeling on their home, just to change things up a bit!…

Renovation House

The Basics Of Remodeling A Bathroom

Remodeling a bathroom is a great way to increase the value of your house. Even if you aren’t planning to sell your home yet, remodelling your bathroom now is still definitely worth it, as you can luxuriate in a new bathroom now, whilst knowing that your property has increased in worth if you decide to sell in the future.
A bathroom is a room that is used very frequently, which usually means that it will be subjected to a lot of wear and tear over time. As the bathroom is often used by visitors too, it is important to keep it looking attractive and in good working order.
A bathroom remodel is only limited by your imagination and budget, but there are a few main areas to consider that can make a vast difference to the look and function of a bathroom.
Tiles are a very important part of any bathroom renovation, as they will protect the walls around the sink and bath from splashed water. Ceramic or porcelain tiles are ideal for this and are easy to keep clean. There are many styles and patterns to choose from, so it shouldn’t be too difficult finding a style to suit your bathroom.
Floor tiles are also great for protecting the floor, and again come in a variety of styles and designs. They can be a bit cold to step on, so it may be wise to place a rug over them, or even install under floor heating if you have the resources.
Lighting is an area that shouldn’t be underestimated when remodelling, as it can make a huge difference to the look and functionality of a bathroom. Ideally, you will have a combination of lighting that can both light the bathroom in general, and provide the stronger lighting required around the mirror.
The cheapest and most obvious way to transform your bathroom is to give it a new coat of paint. Soft and subtle colors are best for this as they can make the room appear lighter and more relaxing.
Any bathroom fixtures, such as the toilet, faucets, bathtub or vanities that are worn or damaged should repaired or replaced to make sure your bathroom is a pleasure to use as well as look at.…