Make Your Garage Stand Out From the Rest

How To Fix Low Spots In Your Lawn

There are many things that can lead to a bumpy lawn that isn’t level. Mowing or walking on the lawn while the soil is wet, the removal of a large tree or bush, or simple erosion in lower-lying areas can all lead to this problem. Fortunately, you can usually fix it without ruining your grass. The following will guide you through the process.

Create the filler

Sand is sometimes recommended for filling low areas, but it can cause problems on its own. The sand can mix with the clay naturally in your soil, which makes it harden. This results in a crust on top of the soil that water has trouble soaking through. Instead, mix equal parts sand with topsoil or compost. The sand in the mix ensures that is sprinkled down and fills in around the base of the grass plants, while the topsoil in the mix provides nutrients and water retention so the sand doesn’t crust over.

Cover the lawn

The next task is to fill in the low spots with the mixture. Sprinkle the sand mix over any ruts or low spots until they are either level or only the tips of the grass are showing. You don’t want to cover the grass blade completely. You can then use a rake to move the sand mix to fully level the area. Once it looks level, water the lawn thoroughly to settle the sand mix.

Reapply as needed

In most cases, you will need to fill in the low area at least one more time after the sand mix settles. If the low area was caused by a tree removal, you may need to repeat the process several times over the course of a few years. This is because the old tree roots beneath the lawn are decomposing, causing the lawn to slowly settle. When reapplying, wait for at least a month after the last application. This ensures the grass has grown through and rooted in the first sand application. Then, apply the sand mix just as you did before.

Helpful tips

Here are a few tips to help you with the leveling process:

  • Use a long board to check the level of the lawn. After applying the sand mix, place the board so it lies over the spot that was low with the ends of the board on areas that weren’t low. If there is no gap under the board, you have filled the spot in sufficiently.

  • Avoid mowing over the area for at least a week so the sand mix can settle and the grass can begin rooting. This will prevent new ruts from the lawnmower wheels from forming in the filler.

For more information, contact Schulhoff Tree & Lawn Care, Inc. or a similar company.

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Top Signs That Your Foundation Is In Need Of Repair

As a homeowner, it is important to make sure that you are spotting trouble with your foundation before it gets out of hand. Check out the following signs of foundation trouble so you will know when it is time to call in a foundation repair expert.

There Are Gaps Between The Ceiling And Your Crown Molding

Now, as some homes age, the foundation will settle a little and this can cause materials in the house to shift a little. This is normally not a cause for concern. However, if your crown molding always sat nice and flush against the ceiling and there is now suddenly huge gaps everywhere, you might want to call in an expert. This can be a sign that you are not experiencing the normal settling of the foundation. You could have a major problem on your hands.

Your Basement Walls Are Bowing Inward

It is important that your basement walls always remain as nice and straight as possible. If they are starting to bow inward, it is most likely due to the fact that the soil outside is expanding when it is wet and therefore pushing against the walls of the foundation. Once the foundation walls start to move, they will continue to move until the problem is resolved and the walls are repaired. This is because once they are moved out of place, they are no longer as strong as they used to be. The last thing you want is for one of those walls to completely cave in. 

The Windows And Doors Are Malfunctioning

If you are starting to notice that you have some windows and doors that are starting to stick in place and are no longer opening and closing as easily as they used to, it could be that there was a sudden shift in your foundation. You will want to call in a foundation expert to examine the situation. This way, you will be able to know if the foundation is done settling and it can be left alone or if the house needs to be jacked up so the foundation can be repaired. In the meantime, you may have to make some adjustments to your doors so that you can continue to use them.

With those few signs in mind, you should be able to determine whether your foundation is in need of repair from a professional foundation expert. Contact a business, such as American Mud Jack Inc, for more information. 

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Three Signs That Indicate Your Windows Need Replacing

Your home windows make a huge impact on the comfort and appearance of your home. This is why it’s important to inspect them every once in a while for signs of possible reasons they need to be replaced. Here are three major signs that indicate it is time to consider replacement:

Performance is Poor:

There are two ways that windows can begin to perform poorly. One way would be that opening and closing the windows has become a difficult task. This indicates that the windows are becoming old. You will definitely appreciate newer windows that easily open and close for your convenience. This is especially true when it comes to closing and locking your windows, which is key to your home safety. If doing this is difficult, chances are that one day you won’t be able to close or lock them at all. The second way that windows start to perform poorly is when they begin to let in air leaks. You will notice this when your energy bills become higher because you need to run the AC or heater for longer periods of time and on higher settings. 

Appearances are Dull:

Over time, older windows begin to have a dull appearance. If you had wood windows, the wood may have begun to chip. You may even notice signs of discoloration from water damage. Whatever the case, having windows that are dull in appearance can seriously hinder the curb appeal of your home. Replacing these windows can improve not only your home’s curb appeal but also the value of your home.

Cleaning is Challenging:

At some point, condensation can build in between the glass of the windows that is impossible to remove. This leaves water spots that make your windows hard to see through, which also reduces the amount of natural lighting coming into your home, as well. There may even be rotting around the frame that is difficult to remove too. Once cleaning the windows becomes nearly impossible or too much of a hassle, it’s best to replace them. Newer windows are often better in design, making them easier to clean, which is going to improve the appearance of your home, bring in more sunlight, and ensure that the air in your home is cleaner. 

Keep in mind that some of your windows may have these signs while others do not. This is because exposure to weather conditions may be different on each side of your home. If this is the case, you can simply replace some of the windows instead of all of them at once, which will help save you some money. 

If you have questions about replacing the windows in your home, contact Community Builders or another local window company.

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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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