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Reaping the Benefits of New Vinyl Windows

Home ownership can be challenging. There always seems to be something to repair, update, and clean, but this proper maintenance will ensure your home is appealing, functional, and valuable. While you may already understand the importance of mowing your lawn and cleaning your carpet, you should also make your windows a priority. If you are a homeowner, consider replacing your old windows with new vinyl options to reap the following enormous benefits. 

Energy Efficiency

Eco-friendly living has become more than just a hobby, since many people have a passion for protecting and conserving the environment. Fortunately, installing energy efficient vinyl windows can help you live this eco-friendly lifestyle.

New windows offer a low-E coatings, which reflect back heat in the room during the winter season. This also helps insulate your home in the summer, reducing the energy needed to run the air conditioning.

Due to this added protection and insulation, new windows can reduce energy costs for heating and cooling costs up to 12 percent.

Reduced Maintenance

New vinyl windows are also a great deal easier to maintain when compared to your outdated windows. The vinyl material is incredible durable. Not only are the vinyl frames resistant to scratches and scrapes, but they will not discolor, fade, or stain, as well.

No sanding, painting, or staining is necessary, so you will not have to spend time, energy, or money on maintaining the look of these frames. However, a periodic washing of your frames and windows is smart to ensure they remain clean and attractive.

In most cases, using a solution containing half water and half white vinegar is sufficient for removing dirt and debris on your windows. To reduce the risk of streaks on the glass, spray the solution and wipe away using a squeegee tool.

Improved Curb Appeal and Home Value

Replacing outdated windows with vinyl models will also enhance your home’s curb appeal. Not only will your home look attractive and well-maintained, but new windows will also increase your home’s total value.

If you decide to sell your home, new energy-efficient, attractive windows will be more appealing to potential buyers. This first impression is not only cosmetic, though. On average, new vinyl windows can offer you an 85 percent return on your investment if and when you sell your home.

As a homeowner, you may find the different tasks to maintain your house overwhelming. With this guide, you will see the benefits of investing in new, energy-efficient, vinyl windows.

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Buying Granite Countertops? Follow These 4 Tips

In 2015, statistics show that granite was the favored material among countertop options among 45 percent of homeowners when they were renovating their kitchens. If you’re planning a kitchen renovation, here are a few things you should know:

1. Shop by Slabs, Not by Samples.

When you buy granite countertops, you aren’t buying just a sample. You are buying an entire slab. Therefore, that’s exactly how you should shop. In a slab of granite, there are so many intricacies and you want to be able to see all of the rarities of the granite before you decide which slab you want to purchase. In most cases, you will be able to get more than one slab from the same exact lot, which will allow you to get slabs of very similar colors and designs.

2. Measure First, Then Let the Fabricator Finalize.

While you may want full reign over everything since this is your kitchen, you need to let others take control over the granite countertop process. Granite is always sold by the square foot. This is something that you can measure on your own initially. Head to your kitchen and measure each and every section where you will need countertop, including the backsplash. Measure both the width and the length, then multiply these numbers together for each section. Once you’re done, add these numbers together. This is the approximate square footage of granite that you need. You will need to give this to a granite salesperson to “hold” your granite slab. Once your kitchen cabinets and appliances are installed, a granite fabricator will come to your home and take more final measurements before cutting your granite.

3. Don’t Forget to Request Fewer Seams.

While you may assume that a fabricator will do a seamless job, it is important that you never assume anything. The fewer the seams, the better your kitchen is going to look. This is because the color won’t be as interrupted throughout the granite and the flow of the pattern will continue beautifully. It also holds far more value when there are no (or fewer) seams.

4. Take Care of the Granite After Installation.

Granite is very particular. While it is relatively simple to clean and it is somewhat resistant to heat, it does have the ability to scratch, stain, chip and crack. Therefore, it is important that you use hot pads, avoid acidic cleaning products and bleach and clean up spills quickly. It is also a good idea to consider purchasing and applying a granite sealer regularly. 

For more information, contact a business such as Alma Granite.

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3 Tips For Doing Your Laundry After Installing A Water Softener

Hard water can take a toll on your home. Not only does hard water leave behind a film on the surfaces it comes into contact with, but hard water can also reduce the life of your water-using fixtures. Installing a water softener will eliminate the minerals that make hard water destructive. If you are considering a water softener, it’s important to understand how your laundry routine will need to change once installation is complete.

Here are three tips you can use to more successfully do your laundry after you have a water softener installed.

1. Cut back on your detergent use.

Adding detergent to your washing machine is a great way to ensure your clothes are clean and fresh. While you might be used to adding a certain amount of detergent to your washer, it’s important to recognize that you will need to cut back on your detergent use once you start using soft water to clean your clothes.

Your detergent will be able to work more efficiently in soft water because it can lather properly. Using too much detergent after making the switch to soft water could cause your machine to flood, so remembering to limit detergent use will help you avoid disaster.

2. Don’t add extra salt.

Many homeowners add a pinch of salt to their washing machine to prevent colors from bleeding during the wash cycle. While this can be a great practice when you are washing your clothes in hard water, you can forego the addition of extra salt after making the switch to soft water.

A water softener relies on salt to function properly, so the water filtered through your new water softener will already contain the additional salt needed to keep your colorful clothes vibrant.

3. Reduce your water temperature.

While you might be used to washing your clothing in hot water in order to get garments as clean as possible, you can reduce your water temperature once a water softener has been installed.

Hard water minerals can adhere to the surface of your clothing during the wash cycle, and these deposits are more easily washed away in hot water. Since a water softener eliminates mineral buildup, you don’t need to additional heat to help your clothing feel clean. 

The addition of a water softener to your home can be beneficial. Be sure that your laundry habits help you optimize your new soft water’s benefits by using less detergent, relying on the salt in the water to keep colors vibrant, and reducing the temperature of your wash water. For more information about water softener installation, talk to a company like Anderson Water Systems.

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Three Ideas to Give Your Home Maintenance-Free Landscaping That Is Always Green

Are you tired of mowing your lawn on a weekly basis or tired of the costs of keeping your grass green? You may want to consider maintenance-free solutions to give you attractive landscaping with little effort. If you want to have a lawn that is always green, you can include artificial grass or a moss garden in your landscaping. Using native hardy plants like azaleas can also help to add color to your landscaping with little effort. Here are some of the ideas that you may want to consider for a maintenance-free landscaping that is always green.

1. Using Artificial Grass for a Lawn That Is Always Green and Attractive

Mowing your lawn is something that can take time and can be a problem if you have areas where grass seems to not want to grow. With artificial grass, you can have the perfect lawn that never needs to be mowed, seeded, fertilized, or aerated. Artificial grasses that are available today also look very similar to real grasses. The only care that your lawn will need is an occasional cleaning to remove debris.

2. Moss and Rock Gardens for Effortless Landscaping and Plants for Shade

Moss can be another improvement that you may want to consider for areas where grass will not grow. If you have a home that has a lot of shade, moss gardens can give you a green-lawn look. The only care that it will need is an occasional watering when the weather is too dry. Rock gardens can also be a good addition to the moss areas, and you can propagate the moss on rocks to create unique and interesting features in your landscaping design.

3. Native Plants for Features That Are Hardy and Need Less Care

With the improvements to your lawn using artificial grass and rocks, you may want to have more life in your landscaping design. There is a simple solution for adding plants and reducing the need for maintenance: use native plants. There are many attractive native plants like azaleas that are native to many areas of North America, hardy, have beautiful blooms, and require little maintenance. To ensure low maintenance, choose native plant life that has a slower growth rate.

These are some of the options that you may want to consider for a maintenance-free lawn that is always green. If you are ready to put an end to your lawn-care headaches, contact a landscape contractor such as Campbell’s Nurseries & Garden Centers Inc and talk with them about implementing some of these solutions to make your home look great without extensive maintenance. 

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Two Tips to Help You Get Affordable Metal Yard Art

Adding metal art to your yard is a great way to enhance the look of your house and bolster curb appeal. You can create beautiful themes by incorporating pieces such as windmills or farm animals to add a touch of rustic charm to your lawn. You may be looking to add a few pieces to your own yard, but one thing may be standing in your way: limited funds. You might think that you just can’t afford metal yard art at this time. However, there are things you can do to get budget-friendly pieces. Use this information to learn about two tips that can help you get the affordable metal yard art that you’ve been looking for.

Recycled Metal Art May Be Within Reach

Recycled metal art is a great way for you to get bargain prices on the pieces you want. You may be pleasantly surprised at the unique metal yard art that you come across when you go the recycled route.

Metal is highly recyclable, and there are a number of environmentally-friendly artists who will only work with recycled metals. These artists create versatile yard art that can fit into virtually any theme that you want.

You can find recycled yard art in a number of places. The Internet is teeming with websites that offer recycled metal yard art. Using the search engine of your choice, enter a query such as “recycled metal yard art.” You’ll find websites where you can purchases the pieces you desire. Also, if you’re looking to buy locally, enter the same query, but put the name of your city or town at the end of the phrase.  

Visit Local Estate Sales

Another way you can get good prices on metal yard art is to visit local estate sales. When people need to leave their homes in a hurry, they often offer bargain prices on their wares.

The key is to know which estate sales to go to. Keep an eye out in newspapers and online city boards for estate and yard sales that are occurring in areas where people have large lawns. These people are more likely to have the kind of pieces that you’ll fancy.

Getting affordable metal yard art doesn’t have to be difficult if you know what to do. Start using these tips right away so you can outfit your yard with metal art work that gets noticed.

For more information about metal yard art, talk to companies such as Star Imports Wholesale

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How Seamless Rain Gutters Can Be The Best Option For Your Home

If you need to purchase new rain gutters for your home, you might want to consider the seamless version. To help you understand why the seamless gutters may be the best option for your home, you will want to read through the following benefits.

Less Mess To Clean

It is vital that homeowners are taking the time to make sure that their rain gutters are kept nice and clean by removing all of the debris that builds up over time. Some of the debris that can build up in a traditional rain gutter includes leaves, twigs, and nests that are built by rodents. However, with the seamless rain gutters, this is not something that you are going to have to worry about because there are no seams along the gutter for such debris to get trapped in. Therefore, you will not have to worry about climbing up on the ladder a couple times a year to clear all of the junk out. It will simply wash away down the gutter and drainpipe all on its own.

Will Not Cause Foundation Damage

Without the seamless rain gutters, debris can build up near the connecting joints. This can cause water to collect in one place and there ends up being a lot of weight just sitting in one section of your gutters. It may not take too much additional weight and the seams can begin to break apart and then the water will fall directly below the gutters and land in front of the foundation of your home. Even if the seams stay in tact, the debris and water can build up until it causes the side of the gutter to bend and the water will be released towards your foundation that way. Since the entire purpose of a gutter system is to catch water and lead it away from your home in order to prevent foundation problems, this is not an issue that you are going to want to deal with.

More Aesthetically Pleasing

The seamless rain gutters do not have any unsightly seams to look at. The only place where one gutter connects to another is when the gutter on one side of the building has to connect to the gutter that runs along the other side or when it connects to the downspout. They also come in a variety of colors and can be custom ordered to match the color of your home. This way, they blend in a little better.

As you can see, there are some great reasons as to why someone would want seamless rain gutters for their home. All you need to do now is to find a reputable company that sells and can install your new rain gutters for you.

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3 Ways To Upgrade A Home’s Entrance Without Breaking The Bank

The home’s entryway is the gateway to the rest of the home. A dark and cramped entryway can reduce the appeal of a home, even if the rest of it is well designed and airy. For homeowners trying to sell their home, a poorly designed entrance can make many potential buyers leave without even taking a look at the rest of the home. Many are tempted to demolish the space and start over. However this can get get expensive. Here are 3 ways to upgrade an entryway without going over budget. 

Upgrade The Railings

In a two story home, the stairs often take up a large portion of the entryway. For those with large budgets, fully replacing the staircase with an updated model is something that can drastically change the entire look of the space. For those looking for a less costly solution, just changing out the railings can make a huge difference in the look of the staircase. Ornamental railings will be cheaper than an entire staircase and can elevate the look of the room. Wrought iron and glass railings are a great way to add interest to the space. Ornamental iron or glass inserts can also be used with existing railings in order to save money. 

Paint

The easiest and often the cheapest way to change the look of any room is by painting it. The average cost of painting a room as a do-it-yourself project is around $200 to $300. Lighter color paint can automatically open up a dark space and make it seem larger. Painting is also a great way to get rid of builder’s grade white walls and to make a space feel more lived in. For those who do not have the funds to upgrade to decorative railings, paint can also be used to change the look of the staircase. Painting stair railings a different color can make the staircase pop.

Light And Mirrors

For those who are unable to spend even a couple of hundred dollars, there are ways to improve the look of the entryway with things that may already be in the house. Mirrors placed on the walls are a great way to open up the space. They reflect light and add a decorative element to the space. Many homeowners also often have a few extra mirrors laying around. Extra light is also another way to improve the look of the space. Floor lamps and table lamps can be brought in to brighten up the space.

Upgrading any room in a home can be a challenge for any homeowner without a large budget. Entryways are often low on the priority list when it comes to home improvements. The good news is that there are plenty of economical ways to improve the way they look including upgrading the railings, painting the space, as well as adding extra lighting and mirrors. 

For more information, contact Tampa Bay Hand Railings or a similar company.

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