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Deck Staining Dos and Don’ts

Written by Projects To Do At Home on April 25, 2019. Posted in Uncategorized

Spring has finally sprung, which means the warm weather might encourage you to spend more time outdoors. Subsequently, this is the ideal time of year to fire up the grill and enjoy a meal out on the deck. But before you invite your friends and family over for an amazing barbecue, you might want to take a closer look at your entertaining space. If your deck has seen better days, it may be time to consider your choices for wood stains and get to work. Before you do, however, you’ll want to keep these important dos and don’ts in mind.

When Staining Your Deck, Do…

  • Prep Your Surface: If you fail to clean a wood surface prior to applying stain and varnish, you’ll end up regretting it. In order for wood stains to adhere properly, the working surface needs to be free of dirt, rough spots, and debris. You’ll need to sweep and clean your deck prior to applying any type of deck paint or stain to ensure the final result looks its best. Be sure to give your deck ample time to dry, as well.
  • Take the “Less is More” Approach: When applying wood stains, it’s much better to err on the side of caution. In many cases, one coat will be enough, though two may be required; applying extra coats will just end up compromising the look of your deck and the stain’s ability to stand the test of time. Opt for thin coats to prevent puddles and to obtain a uniform finish.

When Staining Your Deck, Don’t…

  • Stain a Brand New Deck: If you’ve recently installed a new deck on your property and are eager to use wood stain colors to achieve your desired look, you’re going to need to delay your project for a little bit. The natural woods used in your deck actually need time to season and to release excess moisture. If you attempt to use wood stains on newer decks, you’ll end up with a poor final result that won’t take the stain well. You should wait at least six months to apply a stain, though you should follow your contractor’s precise recommendations to ensure best results.
  • Choose the Wrong Product: Choosing the right stain for your wood type and for your goals is key. If your deck already has a stain on it, this will affect the type of stain you’re able to use the second time ’round. You may also want to give consideration to the ingredients in the stains available to you. Although studies have found that organic levels can be two to five times higher indoors than outdoors, you’ll also want to use eco friendly wood stains on exterior structures like decks and porches. The lack of VOCs in these products can promote better health when applying the stain and enjoying your deck while reducing your environmental impact.

Now that you’re more familiar with the dos and don’ts of staining your deck, you’ll be in a great position to choose and apply the proper products. For more information on our stains, varnishes, and paints suitable for exterior applications, please contact us today.

 

5 Things to Consider Before Finishing Your Basement

Written by Projects To Do At Home on March 4, 2019. Posted in Uncategorized

When homeowners do projects around the house, it typically involves main rooms in the house, like the kitchen or bathroom. But one room many homeowners often neglect is the basement. Unfortunately, this can leave the basement a dark, damp, unusable area of the house. So if you’ve been considering starting some home remodeling projects, you should start with the basement — and here are a few things to know before you get started.

 

Get necessary permits: Before you start any sort of remodeling in any part of your home, it’s important to figure out what kind of permits or inspections you’ll need. If you’re planning to add on to your home at all, you’ll definitely need to obtain building permits. You’ll also need to work with your home remodeling contractor to ensure all of your plumbing and electrical work is up to code.

 

Waterproofing is a must: Basements tend to be one of the more damp and wet areas in a home since they’re underground. This is why waterproofing is an essential step. Water damage can ruin a whole renovation project and can even damage the foundation of the house. So make sure your basement is properly waterproofed before you start anything else.

 

Let in the light: Good lighting is key to making a basement feel welcoming and comfortable. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to have windows in a basement. But you should try to let in as much natural light as possible. Or at the very least, plan for there to be several different types of lighting in the area.

 

Focus on basement design: One of the best things about finishing your basement is being able to turn it into whatever you want. Basement designs can consist of bedrooms, offices, home theaters, and more. The use you have in mind for the finished area will help depict what the basement design should be.

 

Hire the right contractor: Finishing a basement is not a great DIY project. From getting the right permits to wiring the room correctly to choosing the right materials, working with an experienced contractor is a must. Talk to a few potential contractors and decide which one will be able to make your dreams reality.

 

A finished basement can not only add more usable space to a home, but Home Advisor shows that an average basement remodel can offer up to a 70% ROI as well. So keep these considerations in mind and you’ll have a brand new area in your home the whole family can enjoy in no time.

 

Important Dos and Don’ts of Basement Finishing

Written by Projects To Do At Home on January 21, 2019. Posted in Uncategorized

With the winter season in full effect, you’re probably looking for projects to do around your home. Finishing your basement can be the perfect project for the long, cold months. The National Association of Home Builders shows that over the past two decades, finished basements have become one of the most popular home remodeling projects. With added usable space, it’s easy to see why basement finishing is so desirable. So if you’re considering basement remodeling, here are a few do’s and don’ts to keep in mind.

 

Do…

 

Basement finishing is one of the biggest home remodeling projects. This is why it’s important to plan out the project as well as possible. You should begin by thinking about what kind of features and designs you want to be included in your new basement. A big open-concept design for a family room, a home theater installation, or a workspace are all great options. You should also research local residential contractors. Home remodeling projects like basement remodeling should be done mostly by professionals to ensure everything is done right. And lastly, you should focus on providing ample lighting in the basement. Since natural light may be minimal make sure there is plenty of lighting to make the space feel welcoming.

 

Don’t…

 

While home remodeling may seem pretty straight-forward, there is actually a lot of work that goes into these projects. One of the most important things to remember is to check building codes for your home. If you fail to meet building codes, you could not only end up in legal trouble, but your home may be unsafe. This is especially important with electrical work, which is why it’s best to bring in a professional. Additionally, you should never ignore signs of water or moisture in the basement. If you continue remodeling while ignoring signs of water, all of your hard work could be ruined. So make sure your basement is completely dry and water-proof before you begin any work. And lastly, don’t stress! If you hire a reputable contractor and take your time planning the project, you’ll have a beautiful new basement in no time.

 

Basement remodeling can add functional space and increase the resale value of your home too. So if you’re thinking about finishing your basement this winter, keep these do’s and don’ts in mind to ensure your project goes smoothly.

How to Save Money on your Heating Bill this Winter

Written by Projects To Do At Home on January 7, 2019. Posted in Uncategorized

Anyone who lives in a cool or temperate climate should already have started using their heating system this year. If it’s been a while since you last turned up the thermostat, you may be surprised to find a higher energy bill at the end of the month. Here are a few tips to keep your heating bill low as we move into the winter months.

Use a Programmable Thermostat

Experts agree that you should turn down the heat if you plan to be away from home for several hours. With that said, many of us are guilty of rushing out the door in the morning without adjusting the thermostat. Using a programmable thermostat ensures that turning down the heat by just a few degrees for most of the day can reduce your heating bills by up to 10%.

Be Strategic

A good heating company will always recommend ways to naturally keep your home warm in the winter. Make sure attic areas are properly insulated and open your curtains during the day to let in some sun. Shower with the door open to heat other rooms in your home. Find small ways to retain the energy you already access throughout the day.

Regularly Change your Furnace Filters

Before you call the residential HVAC or heating repair company to fix your underperforming system, try changing your air filters. A dirty air filter causes the HVAC system to work harder, thus using more energy. Heating and cooling experts recommend changing your air filter once a month during the winter.

Work with a Professional

Finally, consider building a relationship with a quality residential HVAC company. Studies show that homeowners who regularly have their heating and cooling systems inspected by a professional extend the life of their system by 40%. Scheduling a routine check now will ensure that your system is working efficiently all winter long.

Taking steps to reduce your heating costs now ensures that there are no unexpected spikes in your holiday budget later. Taking care of your unit ensures that bills stay low and your home stays warm all winter long.

A Brief History Of Florida’s Relationship With Air Conditioners

Written by Projects To Do At Home on November 29, 2018. Posted in Uncategorized

It’s hard to imagine a time where life lacked its daily comforts (to be honest, we’re glad that time is over), but we wouldn’t be where we are now without being there first. Air conditioning’s introduction to Florida did a lot more than just make daily life bearable, it affected vital aspects of culture and industry. So, let’s take a little walk through history to see where it all began.

Dr. John Gorrie, 1830s

Dr. Gorrie tended to sick and disabled seaman with the Marine Hospital Service. He would buy ice from schooners that came from the North and suspend it in bins above the heads of fever patients to cool the air around them as a way of improving comfort. When shipments became scarce and expensive, he began seeking out a new way to achieve the same effect through an air compressor. As with most invention origins, success was borne from an accident: one hot night, the engine running the steam compressor ran too long and the moisture that had condensed on the pope froze, prompting him to try to figure out how to “mechanically produce ice.” Dr. John Gorrie is regarded as the father of air conditioning and mechanical refrigeration due to his patented machine that came about a few years later.

Willis Carrier, 1902

Carrier invented the first true air conditioner in the United States. It controlled both temperature and humidity by pumping air through refrigerated coils. In the beginning, its use was restricted to industrial environments such as cotton mills, cigar factories, and breweries for practical reasons in removing moisture, although worker productivity increased as a result of the much more comfortable environments. He continued to make upgrades and changes to his design which resulted in more public use — movie theaters, banks, and department stores began utilizing air conditioning more and more.

The 1960s

WWII brought air conditioning to Florida until it became an integral part of the culture and life. By 1960, most hotels and restaurants offered the luxury service which caused tourism to boom; Florida was no longer uncomfortable and sticky during the summer months. By the mid-1960s, more than 40% of the homes being built contained central air. This encouraged people to forgo their “front porch” lifestyle, which involved outdoor socialization with families and neighbors and begin spending time indoors. The more businesses incorporated AC, the more people came to the Sunshine State: the population doubled in density from 1930 to 1980.

2018

Now, two-thirds of the U.S. population has an air conditioner in their homes, with those in the south incorporating them at an understandable 97% rate. Whole industries have cropped up surrounding their care and maintenance, such as those lauded best AC companies that focus on air conditioning repair and installation. Finding an air conditioning company to stop by and perform a routine maintenance check or AC repair takes nothing more than a simple Google search.

Dr. John Gorrie likely had no idea the impact he would have on modern day society, especially in the south. With just one air conditioning company making a difference in a household’s lives, find the right air conditioning company is what matters today.

3 Pests That Can Plague Your Office

Written by Projects To Do At Home on September 19, 2018. Posted in Uncategorized

When you hear the term “pest,” you might think of food service; cockroaches, rodents, bugs. The fact of the matter is, pests don’t just harm the food service industry. In your office environment, you may encounter dozens of pests in your lifetime.

Here are the most common pests that might plague your office.

Spiders

When the weather takes a turn, so too does the direction of spiders in your area — and they lead right to your office. Spiders are great because they kill a bunch of smaller bugs. They’re like a miniature commercial pest control service all on their own.

However, your coworkers and employees might not think so. When too many spiders invade your office space, you should call commercial pest control services right away, especially if your office is nearby wooded areas. It’s estimated that around one million spiders will live on one acre of land, but in tropical areas, up to three million spiders can live on one acre. Poisonous spiders should be handled by professional extermination services to prevent injury and ensure no spiders are left behind.

Bed bugs

Even though your office probably doesn’t have a bed, that doesn’t mean bed bugs aren’t taking up residence in your place of work. Bed bugs are associated with beds, but that’s only because they feed on preying victims while they remain stationary; usually in bed. Bed bugs actually live in the nooks and crannies of wooden furniture, in electrical sockets, and even the cracks in your walls and floors.

Though they usually aren’t an immediate health risk, bed bugs are notoriously hard to get rid of. If you have bed bugs in your office, you need to hire an extermination service stat to ensure your office is a safe place to work.

Cockroaches

Every building and business is susceptible to this pesky pest. Cockroaches are found anywhere there is water and food, two things your office likely has. Between kitchen cooking, garbage, and surrounding restaurants, any office might experience a cockroach infestation. To get rid of them, hire commercial pest control services to eradicate their presence and keep your business on track.

Pests aren’t a one industry issue: countless pests invade thousands of businesses each year. When you need quick and efficient pest control services, call D and R Pest Control for the best extermination services near you.

A Basic 3 Step Process to Cloning Your Favorite Plant

Written by Projects To Do At Home on September 14, 2018. Posted in Uncategorized

If you’ve been growing for awhile, then you’ve undoubtedly had the perfect strain come across your lap that produced best quality yield you’ve ever had. You regret not cloning it then, and now you’ve got another plant that’s as good or better than the other one.

Rather than missing another opportunity, you decide to clone your prized plant. Well, before you go crazy basing your process on what you’ve heard, here’s a quick step-by-step guide to cloning.

The Mother plant

The plant that you want to clone isn’t always the plant that you should clone, and there are a few considerations to make when deciding which plant is best.

    • Make sure the plant you want to clone is a female since male plants don’t produce buds.

 

    • To help maintain the quality of your overall yield before cloning, rid the crop of any male plants before pollination. Cross-pollination will decrease the quality of the crop.

 

    • Choose a healthy mother plant, one with a taste and aroma that you’re fond of. Make sure the plant is strong enough to handle the cloning process and isn’t weak or dying.

 

  • If you’re going for a high yield rather than a quality yield, then that’s another consideration when deciding which plant to choose.

Once you’ve chosen your mother plant, you can begin cutting.

Cutting

When you’ve found the right plant, you’ll need to take cuttings. Be sure to do this when the mother plant is not flowering and is quite healthy, having roughly six nodes. You’ll need a sharp blade or scissors, and you will need to sterilize the tool with alcohol to prevent the spread of disease. Pick a low branch and cut about a quarter of an inch below the node at a 45-degree angle. Also be sure to water your plant before you take any cuttings.

Planting

Before planting your cutting, it will need to grow roots. Do this by placing the cutting in a small cup of water and placing a plastic bag over the top. Once the roots have grown to about one to three inches, you can transfer the clones into the soil. You can now grow the clones as you would a traditional plant, making sure to use the right grow lights, plant support mesh, nutrients, and anything else you need.

When deciding how to grow your new plants, consider a hydroponic system equipped with grow lights. Hydroponic setups will use less water and grow two to three times faster than traditional outdoor plants. Be sure to properly care for your clones so they can grow to be as healthy and beneficial as the mother plant.

No matter what you need — grow lights, cloners, or anything else for your grow lab — check us out today.

Basement Design Ideas to Enhance Your Small Space

Written by Projects To Do At Home on August 17, 2018. Posted in home remodeling

It is always fun to remodel and spruce up your home. From painting, adding in new furniture, or even creating a brand new basement renovation, it can be exceptionally fulfilling to see your home come alive with new projects.

According to surveys conducted by the National Association of Home Builders, finished basements have become one of the most popular home remodeling projects over the past 20 years. There’s nothing better than coming home to a beautiful, refinished basement, but some homeowners don’t believe they can add one to their home because of space.

You don’t need to have a large space to make the basement of your dreams. Here are some great basement designs for small spaces.

Use neutrals

Colors like white, tan, and grey open up your room and make any space seem more expansive. Dark, bolder colors have the opposite effect, they can make a room feel cramped, the ceilings feel lower, and the walls as if they are suffocating. So when in doubt, go as neutral as possible in a small basement.

Do not add walls

While it may be tempting to add some walls to divide the space, try to make your basement as open as possible. Open concept is great for its versatility and will make the entire basement feel more welcoming.

Make your windows as big as you can

Like neutral colors, light fills up your space and makes any basement look bigger and better. However, basement windows tend to be the smallest in the house and can look dim and uninviting. You can bypass this by getting creative with your windows; for example, if you have a short basement retaining wall, go long horizontally with your windows rather than vertically.

Invest in built-in storage solutions

Kill two birds with one stone and install your cabinet and shelves to go from floor to ceiling all around your basement. This is relatively easy to do during home remodeling; some ideas include ottomans with hidden compartments, side tables with drawers, and bookcases built into the wall.

Just because you have a small space doesn’t mean you have to skimp on the basement remodel of your dreams. Use these tips and you’ll soon have a basement the entire neighborhood will be jealous of!

5 Important Things to Understand When Taking Care of Trees

Written by Projects To Do At Home on September 7, 2016. Posted in Alexandria tree service, Dc tree removal, Fairfax tree service

Tree service manassas va

If you have recently planted a tree with in the past three years then there are certain things that need to be done in order to make sure that the tree can reach its full potential. If not properly maintained and taken care of, trees can often succumb to disease and death because of pests and lack of water and food. Here are a few things that you should do in order to ensure tree care. Should you opt to use tree services then this is what they will do, otherwise this is what you do.

Watering
Make sure that your tree is getting at least 25 gallons of water a week. This is about equal to an inch and a half of rainfall. However, do you want to make sure that you are preventing wasteful run off as well. You can do this by turning on the hose to low and letting it rest at the base of th

Don’t Pull a Tom Sawyer — Hire a Paint Contractor to Get the Job Done!

Written by Projects To Do At Home on August 25, 2016. Posted in Painting contractors in wilmington delaware, Painting contractors wilmington de, Sandblaster

Exterior restoration delaware

Have you been unhappy with the way your home or outbuildings look recently? Have you been thinking about putting a new coat of paint on everything? If you’re feeling overwhelmed at the amount of painting facing you, consider get in touch with a painting contractor. They can help with both exterior painting services and interior painting services. For exterior jobs, they may even offer sandblasting services to get the perfect, smooth coat on your home. Experienced commercial painters are sure to get the job done quicker and at a higher quality than you (or some friends) could and will be worth the money. Plus, you’ll save yourself an immense amount of time and energy setting up, paint