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Improvement For All

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Keeping Your Building Healthy

Don’t wait for something to break, leak, or crumble in your workspace or home. Develop plans to maintain all of the buildings you occupy. You don’t need to make long lists. Simply treat work and living spaces as if they could also become sick. In a way, they can. A healthy building will benefit your health, too.

Hidden and Important

Even if you can’t see part of your workspace, that area might still contain items that need regular replacements or maintenance. A leaking pipe can begin with small stains and stretch to damage a whole room. Wires that stick out and faulty outlets can become safety hazards, especially if your facility is a daycare and children have access to those dangers. What about the air you and other occupants breathe regularly? Stick to a schedule for changing sterile air filters VA in your building. Follow recommendations and learn which filters fit and are compatible with your system.

Flooring

When floorboards and tiles start to become tripping traps, it is time for more than a cosmetic change. Remove any exposed nails from floorboards and pry up tiles to press into new grout. These approaches, however, may only provide temporary fixes. So, ask around and find a flooring specialist who can assist you and ensure that your next floor is both secure and appealing. Even if you don’t need to do anything with your floors yet, try to adopt a cleaning schedule. Just by keeping floors swept, you can reduce the build-up of things you could trip on.

Furniture

Regardless of the type of furniture you have, it’s important to replace objects before they fall apart. A collapsing chair will elicit much more laughter in a cartoon than in reality. If a seat starts to make new noises or droop, this is a sign to begin shopping for a replacement. Repair work isn’t an option for every article of furniture, but for some items, you can reupholster. Look for options to repair your furniture before you discard it.

Additions

If it is in your budget, think about building on to your property or adding new equipment. Speak to builders for large projects before embarking on anything complicated. Always take time to learn what options you have. For instance, call several solar companies before deciding on a company if solar power is something you want to add. Solar panels come in a few types, and each company may have different offerings.

A healthy building is one that functions in your favor. Add what you need and clean up what you don’t.  

Snowy Day Fun

Heavy, wet snow can cause all sorts of problems. Laden tree branches can fall, damaging property and taking down power lines. Excess snow on your roof can potentially damage the roof structure. If you ensure your roof was well built with a roof snow load calculator, then you can rest easy and enjoy the snow. Here are several fun snowy day activities.

Snow Sports

Many people enjoy snowmobiling throughout the winter. Downhill and cross-country skiing are also fun winter sports. If you don’t have access to the equipment required for those pastimes, sledding is a great outdoor activity that is quite accessible. A simple plastic sled and a gentle hill can provide hours of entertainment for the whole family. Be sure to pack some hot chocolate to warm you up from the inside while you play.

Build a Snow Fort

You can buy special molds to make bricks of snow, but any bucket will do in a pinch. Make as many blocks of snow as you can, and pile them up high. If you have enough snow to build up at least three tall walls, a snow fort is a great place for kids to hang out away from parents and have some fun.

Make Ice Ornaments

Take a walk in the snow to gather some bits of nature — holly leaves and berries, maple seeds, small pine cones, etc. Next pour a shallow layer of water into a bowl or plate — paper plates make it easy to remove your ornament — then place a hanging string partially in the water. Make sure plenty is left out to create a hanging loop. Add your nature treasures to the dish, then place the whole thing outside to freeze. Once your ornaments are frozen solid, pop them out of the plate and hang them from low branches to enjoy as long as the freezing weather lasts.

Paint the Snow

Spray bottles filled with water and a little food coloring let you show off your inner snow Picasso. Build a snow sculpture and then paint it, or just paint on the natural snow surfaces. You can paint a scene or go for a more abstract look. You can also color the walls of your snow fort once you’ve completed it. Colorful snowballs are also fun to throw around.

Snowy weather can certainly bring some problems with it, but if you can take some time to get out and enjoy the snow, it can also bring some childhood magic, whether you’re playing with children or not.

5 Things You Need for an Outdoor Event

Hosting an outdoor event in the spring or fall, when the weather is beautiful, is becoming increasingly popular. Outdoor events come with extra steps that indoor events do not, like restrooms and electrical sources. If you are hosting an outdoor event, make sure that you have the following things. 

1. Power Source

No matter what kind of event you are hosting, you will need electricity. Get that electricity from a portable generator rental South Florida. You can use the generator to power everything from lights and musical equipment to cooking equipment and refrigerators. If you are serving food, you’ll want to be able to heat up food and keep things cold. Bands will need to be able to power the microphones and instruments. Finally, your guests will want to see everything. Generators are a must.

2. Amenities

If you are hosting your event in an area that doesn’t have restrooms, you’ll need to provide your guests with somewhere to go. Calculate how many toilets you’ll need for the number of guests you have and contact local vendors. If your event is elegant, upgrade to higher quality toilets than the ones you’d see on a work site. Your guests will appreciate it.

3. Seating

Even if you expect that your guests will be standing and walking around for most of the event, you still need to provide adequate seating. If you are hosting a sit-down dinner, double-check how many guests you are expecting and order a few extra chairs for the unexpected arrivals. You don’t want anyone who wants to sit down to be forced to stand.

4. Entertainment

For certain types of parties, like weddings, guests expect entertainment. Depending on your budget, you can splurge on a full band or a string quartet. Deejays are a popular choice for dancing. If you don’t have the money for all that, rent an outdoor sound system and put together a fun playlist. You know your guests and what they’ll like.

5. Tent

If you are hosting your outdoor event in an area that doesn’t have a covered area already, you should rent a tent. Guests will not want to stand outside in the sun for hours on end. If the weather turns and it begins to rain, your guests will appreciate having a place to stay dry. There are a lot of tent options depending on your budget and theme.

If you have all these things, you’ll be sure to have an event to remember. As long as your guests are comfortable, you have nothing to worry about.

Top 5 Reasons You May Need a Locksmith

When you lock yourself out of your home or car, stress levels rise and panic can set in. Calling a locksmith, a professional trained to work with locks and keys, can help you gain access to your property without causing damage to the locking mechanisms. Here are five reasons you may want to find a locksmith you trust for any future problems.

1. Key Issues

Lost or stolen keys should always be replaced by a locksmith to prevent anyone from entering your home. The locksmith will need to re-key or replace the locks and create new keys for you. Occasionally, the metal key wears down over time and can break off in the lock. If you can’t get the key out, a locksmith can come out to help. They can remove the broken key, fix any damage to the lock and replace the key. Have car key duplication Orlando completed before a damaged key causes a problem.

2. Lock Issues

If you accidentally lock yourself out of the house or car, a locksmith can be called to let you in. Emergency locksmiths are available 24 hours a day for these situations. A lock can be damaged through wear and tear or by someone trying to enter your home. Your may notice your key isn’t working properly or your locks aren’t completely secure. A locksmith can fix the damage or replace the locks and keys.

3. Combination Issues

If you’ve installed a keyless entry, you may not worry about lost keys anymore, but what if you forget the combination? Locksmiths have the ability to reset your electronic code and reset your password. 

4. Moving Into a New Home or Apartment

When you move into a new place, you have no idea who has copies of the previous keys. To make sure you’re home is secure, hire a locksmith to change all of the locks and keys for you. Before you do this in a rental, check with the landlord. They may do this between tenants anyway.

5. Security Upgrade

Upgrading the technology around your home may include keyless entry, but your locksmith can also tell you about home security options to keep your family safe.

To find a trustworthy locksmith it’s a good idea to search local and find a certified professional. You can peruse online reviews for positive comments and get quotes from your top three choices. Having a reliable locksmith you can trust for emergency situations will reduce your stress tremendously.

Garden Terrace Design Tips

With everyone spending more time in their homes, every inch of space is being utilized. This is especially true with outdoor spaces. Having a place to get much needed fresh air is a hot commodity these days. You may have overlooked your terrace in the past. However, this is the time to turn that blank space into a retreat to enjoy. It may look cold and hard right now, but with some special touches, you can turn your terrace into your own private sanctuary. 

Structure

Cement floors and metal railings are not inviting. Although it is tempting to jump right into decorating your terrace with plants and furniture, first address the structure itself. Improving the base of your terrace will go a long way towards making it feel warm and luxurious. Consider updating the floor with a floating rooftop deck. These wooden panels sit on the surface of the floor, which allows you to maintain proper drainage. The warm color of wood floors, along with the visual interest of a geometric design, will vastly upgrade your space. If your terrace has a railing, consider switching to glass panels. This will really open up the space and make it feel larger.

Greenery

Raised flower beds are a great way to disguise ugly HVAC units or other equipment on the terrace. Just make sure they have proper drainage in the base. They can be built with wide edges for some added space to sit a coffee cup or cocktail. If your terrace doesn’t have a good view, then consider planting taller plants to create your own secret garden. Bamboo is a durable option that grows quickly. Another nice touch is to incorporate vines that climb the walls of your terrace. It will maximize the green space of the area. 

Lighting

You want to be able to enjoy your terrace as much as possible, so do not forget about the nighttime. Less is more when it comes to lighting your terrace. You want to be able to see, not feel under a spotlight. String lights are a popular option and are not expensive. For a custom look, consider floor lighting on steps or around the perimeter. If your terrace has any art or an eye-catching tree, then point a soft spotlight at it to give the space a focal point.

Garden terraces can change with the seasons, and evolve over time. Paying attention to these specific design elements will elevate your terrace to the most popular room in your home.

Identifying and Treating Bed Bugs

Have you been waking up in the morning itching, thinking you have been bitten by mosquitoes? You may want to peel back those bedsheets and search your mattress for bed bugs Fort Myers. These tiny creatures turn red after feeding on your blood, and they tend to multiply in record numbers.

Signs of Infestation

First of all, if you wake up with itchy red bumps that you didn’t have before you went to sleep, that is one indication that you may have bed bugs. This may be particularly true if you acquired a used bed or couch around the time that this itchiness began.

Look for blood stains on your pillowcases or sheets, as well as rusty-looking spots on your walls and pajamas. Keep an eye out for shed skins or eggshells in areas where bed bugs may hide. You also may notice a musty odor.

If you suspect an infestation, take the dust cover off the box springs and inspect the wood frame carefully. Also, examine any objects in the area around the bed, such as books and radios.

Treatments for Bedbugs

To get rid of bed bugs, you need to clean up the places where they live. You may want to throw out your mattress and get a new one. However, unless you get rid of bed bugs in the rest of the home, they will infest your new mattress too.

Everything from your bedding, curtains, linens and clothing should be washed in hot water and then dried on the highest setting. Vacuum your bed and the area around it often. After you are finished vacuuming, immediately put the vacuum bag in a plastic sack and place it outside in the garbage can.

You should carefully put your box spring and mattress into an insect-proof zippered bag to prevent bedbugs from entering or escaping. Be sure to keep the mattress cover on for at least a year because bed bugs can survive this long without feeding. Eliminate any clutter around your bed.

Extermination of Bedbugs

This process is helpful in controlling bed bugs but not eliminating them. To get rid of them for good, you need professional chemical treatments. Since it can be harmful to treat your bedroom area with insecticides, it is best to leave this procedure up to the experts. A mattress and bedding should not be cared for with any chemical unless the label indicates that it can specifically be used on bedding.

Save Money With Solar

Whether you are thinking of building a new house or you are just tired of paying the electric bill in your current home, going solar can be a great way to save on energy costs. Here are some of the ways a homeowner saves money when going solar.

Save Money on Electric Bills

Nearly everybody pays a monthly electric bill. If you are on an equal pay type of plan, you know the average monthly cost for using that energy. If you are on a month-to-month type of bill, you can add up the past 12 months’ worth of bills and take the average. It all adds up! If you could save on this monthly cost, wouldn’t that help your overall budget?

When you go solar, you can decide what percentage of your energy you want to cover with the solar system you install. Some people go with an expected 100% coverage plan, while others don’t have enough roof or don’t have the money for a full initial outlay. However, even if you go at a 70% coverage rate, you’ll drastically reduce the amount you pay to the electric company each month.

Get a Tax Credit

The federal government offers an investment tax credit to homeowners who go solar. You will want to check out the solar ITC New Jersey to help you figure out the actual cost of solar in your area. You may have other state or local incentives that help bring down the overall cost to purchase and install the panels.

Lock in Electricity Prices

When you go solar, you work with your electric company to get the right kind of meters installed. They also set a specific rate that you will pay to buy any electricity that you need over and above what your system is producing. Locking in the rate when you get solar energy can save you over the long run because utility rates continue to increase each year.

Get a Great ROI

Even if you feel the price of the panels and installation is steep, do the math. Figure the cost of your electricity over the course of seven years or so and it will likely equate to the same amount you will pay for your system. However, once you have paid off your system, your power is practically free! Solar energy systems are often guaranteed for 25 years or more, so you can see that you will save money in the long run.

If you want to save money on your electricity costs, you should consider going solar.

Tips for Making a Splash With Your Pool Party

Kids enjoy swimming as much as they enjoy parties. The two go naturally together. If you own a pool or you have access to one at a public facility available for rental, think about centering your child’s next birthday around it. Because of how active the children will be at this event and its water-based location, you do need to plan carefully to pull it off appropriately and safely. To meet those goals, dive into these pool-party suggestions.

Choose the Guests

Creating a birthday party guest list can be fraught with faux pas decisions under the best of circumstances. While inviting the whole class may make the task easier, you may not want such a large group around the pool; that decision will depend on the safety measures you implement. In any case, you may consider inviting parents along if your children are young, which will increase supervision possibilities. Otherwise, work with the birthday child to narrow the list.

Take Care of the Pool

Make certain the pool is prepared for the day. Have water testing Pittsburgh run samples to ensure it is clear of harmful microbes so that no one becomes sick by accidentally swallowing a mouthful. If you are renting space in a pool, check into the procedures the staff uses to clean and maintain it.

Hire Watchful Eyes

If you can, hire a certified and trained lifeguard; a public facility will already have one or more in place for your event. You may know of a teen in your neighborhood who has the skills, or you can ask at the local YMCA for contacts.

Get Your Gear

You can rent larger pool floats that will work to keep everyone engaged. You may also want to purchase extra small pool toys, such as soft balls and Frisbees to supplement any already on hand. Check with the rental facility to see what they can supply if you go that route. You should also have extra swimming and outdoor essentials for those who do not come prepared. These can include sunscreen, swimsuits, goggles and towels. Don’t forget to keep lots of water on hand; children can become dehydrated under the hot sun.

In addition to these extra swimming pool preparations, do not forget the traditional snacks, drinks and the birthday cake, of course. When you put everything together thoughtfully, a pool party does not have to be much work on the day itself; usually, the guests make their own fun and the event goes swimmingly.

3 Must-Have Home Design Trends in 2020

With a worldwide pandemic affecting millions, more and more people are stuck at home, wishing they could update their existing living conditions or build something new. Currently, the single-family housing construction industry is booming and is up nearly 6% from 2019, according to kiplinger.com. Many builders are having a hard time keeping up. With that in mind, here are three must-have home design trends you may consider for your next home.  

Larger-Than-Life Garage

More people are opting for a home design Jacksonville FL that includes a larger than life garage area. Within the last five years, many households choose to include a three- or four-car garage in their home design. Often, oversized garages will also have 8-to-12-foot ceilings to accommodate trailers and other outdoor toys. 

Open Living and Outdoor Space

If you’re looking into building a new home, having an open living and outdoor space is one must-have design element that many are loving. Outdoor space is now much more stylish, sophisticated, and tuned in to technology. Additionally, accordion glass doors bring the outdoors in, combining both spaces to form one phenomenal entertaining area. 

Double Master Suite

Large custom homes with dual master suite options continue to grow in popularity among new home construction. Many people like the flexibility having two separate suites provide to their living situation. Those interested in a double suite often prefer luxury and comfortable living as well. 

If you’re beginning to shop for your next house plan, consider what elements are essential for your dream home. There are many growing trends, but it’s vital to choose what works best for you and your living situation when it comes down to it. For many in 2020, having a large open living and outdoor entertaining space is essential — additionally, other people like the flexibility of dual master suites. 

How To Prepare Your Rental for New Tenants

Owning a rental property is a great way to make some extra income. Ideally you want tenants that stick around for a long time, but you will occasionally need to get your property ready for new tenants to move in. Below are a few things you should do to prepare your property.

Re-key the Locks

Make sure your rental property and tenants are secure by having the locks re-keyed. You will need to re-key all outside doors, gates, garage doors, sheds and mailboxes. That way if there are old keys floating around, they are unusable. If you have a garage door opener or security system, change the codes for those as well. A locksmith will be able to do the re-keying for you.

Clean the Carpets

House carpets go through a lot of wear and tear and when you have tenants, you can’t control how dirty they get. Professional carpet cleaning Santa Monica will do a deep clean of your carpets. Professional cleaners have access to machinery and cleaning products that will leave your carpet looking as if it was just installed. Doing this level of cleaning is something your new clients will notice and appreciate.

Test the Appliances

As a landlord, you are responsible for making sure your tenants have functioning appliances and fixtures. If there are any repairs that are needed, it is best to catch them before your new tenants move in. Check the stove to make sure all the burners work and the oven to see if the temperature is accurate. Check the pilot light on the water heater. Run a load in the washer and dryer to determine if they are functioning properly and get the dryer vents cleaned out. Doing these tests will ensure you shouldn’t need to do repairs when your tenants are in the house.

Clean Up the Yard

You may not be selling your home but curb appeal matters for rental properties as well. Make sure to clean up the house’s outside spaces. Trim and prune trees and bushes and cut the grass. Remove any garden pots and fixtures the previous client left behind. If you have an irrigation system, make sure the sprinklers are working. Power wash the patio and any walkways. You want your outside areas to be attractive to potential renters.

Preparing your rental property for new tenants takes time but you want to do it right. Making your home clean and attractive will hopefully draw tenants who will want to keep it that way and showing you are looking after it may keep them around for a long time.

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