Make Your Garage Stand Out From the Rest

Revamping The Man Cave With Inexpensive And Fabulous Hardware Store Finds

If your guy loves his own space where he is surrounded by the things that he loves, there is no doubt that you have a man cave in the house. But after several years of football games, visiting buddies, and changing perspectives, that man cave may just need a little sprucing up. Before you head out to the local home retail and design store to pick up new decor, take a trip to the local hardware store. There are a handful of man-cave-worthy creations you can pull off with just average items you can get at just about any store that specializes in hardware. 

Create crafty screwdriver hangers. 

Pick up a handful of off-brand screwdrivers and you have all you need to create some pretty cool hanging hooks for the man cave. Keep in mind screwdrivers with a thinner metal will work best, as they are much easier to bend, and you need screwdrivers that have a hole in the handle for hanging as well. Use a pair of vice grips or pliers to bend the metal part of a screwdriver into a hook and then hang the screwdrivers on the walls of the man cave to act as coat hooks, hat hooks, or even hooks to hang other decor. 

Make use of basic lumber. 

There is no need to invest in expensive tables in a room where coasters may or may not be used and there could always be a pair of feet propped up on a table. Simple tables are easy enough to craft as long as you have a few pieces of lumber from the hardware store. You could go with a basic sheet of plywood and prop it up on bricks or even tire rims or attach a few boards together and attach some legs with a drill. 

Ask about old advertising at the hardware store. 

If your guy is all about his tools and working with his hands, he will appreciate tool and hardware memorabilia in his man cave. Ask the hardware store manager about old advertising signs or even posters that can be used as wall art in a man cave. You can hang these items in inexpensive poster frames to create a totally manly look in the space. In a lot of cases, a hardware store will just toss these things in the trash, so you can likely pick up a couple of things that are completely free. Contact a business, such as O L Willard Co, for more information. 

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Building A New Home? 4 Steps To Adding A Wonderful Wine Cellar

For wine enthusiasts, having your own, dedicated wine cellar is a dream come true. If you’re able to build a wine cellar in a new construction home, you have the opportunity to create a storage and display space that will help you enjoy your wines for years to come. So, what can help you build a great wine cellar? Here are 4 tips for any collection.

Decide on Your Goals. You will first need to decide what you plan to use your wine cellar for. If it’s just for storage and you want the most bang for your buck as far as storage goes, simple wood and metal racks are inexpensive and can hold a lot of bottles. If, instead, you’re looking to host guests, display bottles, or show off your collection, you will need to budget extra space and money for additions like islands, display tables or cases and premium trim materials. 

Know Your Chill Options. Wine storage can be designed both for large and small budgets. If you have a small budget, you may just want to create a space for wine cabinets. These refrigerated cabinets can hold dozens or hundreds of bottles at the appropriate temperatures in a more public part of the house. But if your budget is larger and you have enough space in your home design, a dedicated wine cellar is the best choice for display and hosting of fellow aficionados. If you are planning on a room cellar, be sure your contractor is aware of the needs of a full wine cellar before beginning. 

Understand the Wine’s Needs. To store wine, a dedicated wine cellar will likely need three key aspects:

  • Insulation. Outside walls will require better insulation than inside walls. Most walls should have at least R12 insulation, possibly higher if there are any exterior walls included. 
  • Moisture Barrier. A standard vapor barrier should encircle the room, usually made from poly sheeting. This layer goes inside the insulation layer.
  • Airtight Seal. To prevent the first two aspects of your cellar from being wasted, the door should form an airtight barrier when closed. You can use something as simple as a door-sweep and weather stripping to help create a good barrier for the door.

Choose a Cooling System. The method to actually keep your wine at the designated temperature depends on your budget and the location of the cellar. Through-the-wall systems are the least expensive methods, whereas a ducted system is likely to be much more expensive. Work with your contractor to determine what fits your budget.

Building your dream wine cellar is a fun project that can best be accomplished only when designing a new home. Relish this chance that few fans will share. No matter what type of cellar or storage area you can design into your home, the result will be a better way to enjoy your hobby and share it with friends. 

For custom home construction, contact a company such as Cornerstone Contracting.

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How To Check And Clean Condenser Coils

Servicing your own air conditioner is a great way to save some money. Often times, you will call out an HVAC professional to service your AC unit and you will find that the problem was something that was very simple to fix. In many cases you may even be able to figure out and fix the problem on your own. This article explains a few things that might be reducing the effectiveness of your AC unit. You can make these simple checks and repairs on your own, without any special tools or equipment.

Locating the Condenser Coils

The condenser coils are vital to the operation of an AC system, but many people don’t even know where they are. The exterior unit of a central HVAC system is often referred to as the air conditioner, but it is technically the condenser unit. It is responsible for condensing hot air that the fan creates. This helps cool down the unit and suck warm air out of the house. The actual coils that are responsible for the condensing are on the outside of the unit. Whether your unit is square or circular, the entire outside is lined with the coils. These are thin sheets of aluminum with tiny ridges that are called fins. The tiny space between the fins is a common place for dirt, leaves, dust, pollen and hair to get stuck. This clogging can hugely reduce the efficiency of your unit.

Cleaning the Coils

The best way to improve the functionality of your coils is to clean them. First, you need to first turn off the power to the unit. Turn off the thermostat and cut the power at the breaker (just to be extra safe). Now, lightly soak the coils with a water hose. Next, you can spray on a basic cleaner or degreaser. Just use your favorite all purpose cleaner. Spray it on thoroughly and let it soak into the coils for several minutes. Then, with a strong stream of water, spray out the soap. This will hopefully wash away most of the dirt. Don’t scrub or rub the coils because they can get bent, becoming even less efficient. Let your unit dry out a bit before turning it back on and testing it out.

As you can see, this job is not very difficult or time-consuming. Clean coils will contribute to a better running machine and hopefully cut your energy bill.

However, if you have a more complicated AC unit issue, it would be best to call in professionals, such as those at Metro Air, who have the proper tools and experience to repair the unit. 

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Three Reason To Replace Your Old Roof With One Made Of Metal

Roof have many challenges they need to put up with. For starters, they must be able to withstand the constant heat from the sun all year long, with UV rays that can make materials like asphalt become brittle and crack. They also must withstand other hazards like wind and hail. Even snow can put added weight on a roof with the potential to cause a roof collapse, with the cold temperatures also causing issues with ice dams. If you need a new roof for your house, metal may be the solution to all of these problems.

Hail and Wind Resistance

Hail has the potential to make a hole in asphalt shingles, while wind is able to rip shingles right off a roof. If your home is in a climate that sees these two weather conditions frequently, you should avoid using inexpensive asphalt shingles and replace the material with something better.

With a metal roof, panels will be secured to the roof using screws, and they don’t have loose edges or seems that allow wind to get caught underneath the material. Metal roofing can take on the toughest winds without leaving any damage behind as proof. If hail is a problem, you can use a thicker gauge of metal that will withstand the debris like an armor plating.

Snow Protection

Climates that see high snow accumulation during the winter can have a problem with excessive weight that overwhelms the roof’s trusses. Materials like asphalt and cedar shakes have surfaces with a lot of friction, which keep snow on the roof instead of allowing it to slide off. Metal roofs have a surface that is low-friction, which helps prevent snow accumulation on a roof. It can also help prevent your roof from collapsing during the toughest winter storms due to not having as much weight on the surface.

Material Longevity

You’ll most likely see 15-25 years out of asphalt shingles, and up to 40 years from wood shakes. Fortunately, metal has a very long lifespan, with the material lasting over 60 years, which is 2-4 times the estimated lifespan of asphalt. Since the average homeowner stays in their home for about 13 years, a metal roof could be the last roof you ever purchase.

When you consider all three of these reasons, you’ll see that metal roofing is an excellent choice compared to the alternatives. The material may be more pricey, but it will be a higher quality material with several additional benefits that make it worth getting. For more information, contact companies like Slaughter Roofing Co.

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Simple Solutions For Adding Privacy To Your Patio Doors

Many homeowners enjoy the added space an outdoor living area can provide. To allow for easy access from your home’s interior to your outdoor living space, you likely have a set of patio doors. These doors allow you to conveniently access your yard, but they can also make you feel like your privacy is being compromised.

Here are two simple solutions you can use to help you make your patio doors more private.

1. Swap out the clear glass window panes in your patio doors for some frosted ones instead.

Large glass panes allow a lot of natural light to flow into your living space, making them popular design features when it comes to patio doors. Unfortunately, clear glass panes don’t allow for much privacy.

If you don’t want to sacrifice the natural light glass patio doors provide but you need to make your doors more private, then swapping out the clear glass for some frosted panes can be beneficial. In order to save some money, you can even use your existing glass and some frosted glass spray paint to achieve your desired result.

Simply tape off the frame of the windows in your patio door and apply a layer of frosted glass spray paint. Allow the paint to dry, then repeat the process until you have reached the opacity that allows you to feel secure inside your home.

2. Use contact paper to create a decorative design.

Contact paper can provide the same type of opacity as frosted glass, but the results are not permanent. If you want to turn your patio doors into a decorative focal feature without compromising your access to natural light, then creating a design using contact paper could be a viable solution.

All you need to complete this simple project is a template in the design of your choosing, some scissors, a pen, and a lot of patience. Trace your template onto the contact paper several times, then carefully peel away the backing on the contact paper and apply the shapes in a decorative pattern.

When you want to swap out the pattern for something new, simply peel the contact paper away from the windows on your patio doors and start the process anew with a different template.

Finding creative ways to make your patio doors more private doesn’t have to be difficult. By using frosted glass spray paint or contact paper, you can easily make the glass in your patio doors more opaque without preventing natural light from flowing into your home.

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Tips For Pruning Flowering Cherry Trees

Flowering cherry, Japanese cherry, Kwanzan cherry – no matter what you call these ornamental trees, they are a beautiful addition to your home landscape. Flowering cherry trees are not true cherries. They won’t produce any fruit. Instead, they supply a profusion of pale pink flowers in spring that look like cherry blossoms. These give way to a rich green summer canopy of leaves. Ensuring the tree is pruned correctly is the key to making sure each year delivers the maximum amount of blossoms.

Tip #1: Begin Early

You should begin pruning the first year after planting to make sure the tree is trained up correctly. In the early years, pruning is relatively simple. You will trim off any nearly vertical branches, selecting only one vertical branch to be the main leader, or trunk, of the tree. Next, you will remove any small twiggy lateral branches that try to grow beneath the main canopy. The goal is to keep the bottom third to one-half of the tree free of branches until you have a strong canopy.

Tip #2: Prune at the Right Time

Late winter is the optimum time to prune, before the leaves or flower buds begin to open. If you are concerned about trimming off your blooms, you can wait until after flowering is over, but this will leave the tree more susceptible to the insects and diseases because they are more active in warmer weather. If there is damage to the tree, you can do a cleaning up prune at any time to fix the problem.

Tip #3: Choosing Your Tools

For young trees, you will probably need nothing more than a strong and sharp pair of bypass pruning shears. For older trees with branches thicker than your thumb, a small pruning saw may also be needed. Flowering cherries can be susceptible to disease from pruning wounds, so you should also be ready to prevent these. The simplest way is to carry a solution of diluted bleach in water in a bucket. Rinse off your pruning tools in the solution after each cut to minimize the chance of infections.

Tip #4: Maintain Your Framework

As the tree matures, you likely won’t need to worry about maintaining your leader anymore, and the growth of twiggy lateral branches on the trunk also diminishes. At this point, your main job is to maintain the internal framework. Look for any branches that are crossed and rubbing, and then cut back one of these to its main branch. Also, trim out any damaged or dead branches.

These tasks will help keep the interior of the tree open to sunlight and air circulation. It’s best to otherwise allow the tree to take its natural form. Heading back or topping just results in unnecessary cuts that can leave the tree open to infection. For further questions, contact a local tree service or hop over to this website for more information.

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4 Tips For Keeping New Carpet Looking Great

There are many benefits to having new carpet installed in a home–it is soft on the feet, provides insulation and helps keep a house warm, and also reduces household noise. But if you’re having new carpet installed in your home, it is essential to know how to properly care for it in order to extend its lifespan and keep it clean for as long as possible. Use the following tips to keep your carpet looking fresh:

Say No to Shoes in the House

Wearing shoes on new carpeting is an easy way to cause stains and break down the carpet fibers. The soles of shoes pick up all kind of things outside, such as oil, dirt, and debris, and when shoes are worn while walking on carpet the contaminants are transferred to the fibers. An easy way to prevent your carpet from becoming soiled by dirty shoes is to make a no-shoe policy in your home. Walking on carpet with bare feet is technically fine, but some people opt to wear socks or house slippers indoors to prevent natural skin oils from the feet from being transferred to the carpet.

Vacuum Properly

Regular vacuuming is very important in keeping a carpet clean and free of trapped debris, but the quality of a vacuuming job is very important. Too many people quickly run a vacuum over the carpet in their home, but they push the vacuum too fast so it doesn’t have time to properly clean each fiber and suction up all the dirt, dust, and debris. If you’re serious about keeping your new carpet looking pristine, give yourself extra time when vacuuming. It can be helpful to slowly pass the vacuum over one area several times to ensure that the carpet is as clean as possible.

Be Prepared to Clean Up Spills Promptly

Unfortunately, spills happen, and when they occur on your carpeting, it is essential to clean them up as soon as possible to prevent permanent staining. In order to do this, it is a good idea to always have a container of carpet spot cleaner on hand so you can clean up fast. Most new carpet comes with a warranty, so take the time to contact the carpet manufacturer for recommendations– the last thing you want is to void your warranty because you used the wrong type of carpet stain cleaner.

Schedule Regular Carpet Cleaning Service

No matter how well you take care of your carpet, it still needs professional cleaning on a regular basis. The machines that professional carpet cleaning companies use are designed to deep clean each carpet fiber in a way that a vacuum can’t. It is generally recommended that carpeting be professionally cleaned at least every 12 to 18 months. If your carpet is very light in color, experiences a lot of foot traffic, or if there are pets in the home, it may be necessary to have the carpet cleaned more often. For more information, contact a company like Conscientious Carpet Care.

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