My Blessing In Disguise

Re-Purposing Your Old Fireplace

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You’ve been staring at that old fireplace for years now. It doesn’t work and you don’t need it as a heat source, so what do you do? The answer is to make it a practical and attractive focal point for your room. With a little creativity, you can take a liability and make it an asset in your home. Chimney Even if your fireplace is non-working, you need to have the chimney swept one last time to remove soot and other debris that could eventually end up blocking ventilation and causing damp spots. Also, you should have a contractor apply a “ventilation cowl” to the top of the chimney. Air still needs to pass through the space to keep things dry and healthy. They can also advise you on any other safety measures that you need to take while closing off your fireplace.  Storage You can take a few materials and turn your fireplace into a storage space. You can have shelves cut to fit the space and secure them with brackets to make an interesting shelving unit. Use it for books or display personal items like family pictures, vases, or knick knacks. You get to keep the design element while taking advantage of more space, something most homeowners always need. Plants You can convert that empty fireplace hole into a display for your house plants. Add a few plant stands near the front of the opening and place a few more on the hearth. Place at least one statement plant, like a peace lily, there. You’ll have beautiful greenery bursting forth from the fireplace. Your plants will also be out of traffic and better protected than they would be in other locations. Design You can simply use the space to create an attractive design. One popular idea is to place candles of various heights in the fireplace and light them on winter evenings to provide illumination and the illusion of heat. Some people stack logs in the open space to keep with the original fireplace theme. If you want to make things more colorful, you can paint the ends of the logs in different colors and stack them in interesting combinations. You may also consider using the fireplace to display your artwork. You can place an easel in the center to hold a larger picture and then group smaller pieces on the hearth. A non-working fireplace can be a true asset. You may not use it to stay warm, but you can use it for many other purposes. In fact, you are only limited by your imagination. If it’s in the family room, use it to store toys and other kid items. You can also make it a nice pet nook. The only thing you should not do is leave it empty and unused. Get to work and make your old fireplace a vibrant focus in your home. For more information on chimney care and cleaning, consider contacting companies like AAAA Dave’s Chimney...

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4 Ways Of Milling Wood From Tree Debris For Woodworking Projects

Posted by on 9:13 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Ways Of Milling Wood From Tree Debris For Woodworking Projects

Whether you are an experienced carpenter, woodworking enthusiast or a DIY-er that wants their own wood for projects around the home, tree debris can be a great resource. The wood that comes from trees you have removed can be valuable material that can be difficult to find. Depending on what you want to use the wood for and the type of tree, you may want to mill the wood using different methods. Here are some of the different ways that lumber can be milled from your tree waste: 1. Cutting Rough Timbers Using Bastard-Sawn Method Of Milling If you want to have rough timbers that you can use for general woodworking projects or mill differently later, bastard-sawn lumber is a good technique. This is where you will take the flattest surface of the log and mill boards along the grain of the tree. It will also be the simplest method to use if you do not have experience milling lumber, which will give you good practice. 2. Getting Heart Wood By Cutting To Keep The Center Of The Wood The heart wood of some trees can be very valuable. Heart wood is the center of the tree. This is because it can often be a desirable color or have more unique patterns than the outer material of the tree. This method is where you will leave as much of the heart of the tree as possible when you do milling. 3. Milling To Keep Lumber That Is Free Of The Heart Wood While there are some times that you may want the heart wood of lumber, there may be other times when you want the wood that is free of heart, which with tree species like pine, can be much less desirable. You can mill logs to make the most of the outer material and separate it from the heart material in the center of a log. 4. Rift-Sawn And Quarter-Sawn Lumber For The Unique Patterns In Grain Rift-sawn and quarter-sawn materials are made by cutting the log into sections that help expose the grain. In quarter-sawn materials, this is done by cutting the tree into quarters and then milling the lumber out of the quarters. Rift-sawn lumber is similar but ripped into radial pieces first and then milled. These are some of the different ways that you can mill lumber out of your tree waste. If you need to have trees removed, contact a tree service, such as DJ’s Tree Service, and talk with them about leaving lengths of timber that you can mill down to a custom size yourself....

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Propane Heat Is A Safe Alternative To Electricity

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When you decide what sort of furnace you will use in your home, you need to carefully consider all of your options. Electric furnaces are a popular option; on the other hand, gas is a clean-burning fuel that can help you save money and reduce your carbon footprint. If you live where there are no natural gas pipelines, you might think that your only choice is to use electricity, but you can have a propane tank installed in your yard. Propane is a great option for a lot of reasons.  Propane Heat Is Hotter The heat from an electric furnace will come out below your natural body temperature but still warmer than the outside air. This means that your home should stay warm, but if you huddle next to a vent the heat coming out of the vent will feel cold. The air coming from a propane furnace will be much hotter, which means that you can bask in the warmth of your furnace vents. Furthermore, the hotter air will shorten the amount of time it takes your furnace to heat your home, which will keep your costs down and reduce your energy use.  Propane Is a Clean Fuel Propane is a petroleum product, but it produces far fewer harmful byproducts than other petroleum products. In that many power plants burn coal, reducing your dependency on electricity can help to diminish your carbon footprint. In fact, some researchers estimate that burning propane for heat will help to reduce smog-producing exhaust by up to 70%. Furthermore, if your propane furnace, tank, or gas lines spring a leak, the escaping gas will not pose a health risk to humans or pets.  Propane Is a Safe Fuel If you have a gas leak in your home, you might worry that the gas will ignite. Propane will ignite at 878˚ Fahrenheit. This means that in the advent of a leak, you should not have to worry about the fuel igniting and creating an inferno.  If you heat your home with propane, you never have to worry about a blackout robbing you of heat during the winter. Instead, your fuel source will be right out in yard. If you are looking for an environmentally safe fuel to heat your home with, and a fuel that is also safe for the environment, propane is a good choice. Talk to a furnace installer to figure out if it is right for you.  Click on the link for residential propane gas delivery or do an online...

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Making Sure Your Home Is Ready For Spring To Come Around

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When you are looking around your home in the midst of winter, it may feel as if the warm sunny days of spring will never come. However, the reality is that spring is just a few months away and rather than sit around waiting for the winter chill to subside, you can instead focus on getting your home and landscaping ready for the spring months to come. Get to know some of the ways that you can be preparing your home and landscaping now so that you have a jumpstart on your spring home care and maintenance. Tree Trimming One of the best winter landscaping tasks that you can perform is trimming and shaping your trees. During the winter months, your trees are bare and free of foliage, blossoms, and new growth that could hinder your view of the health and stability of the tree branches. This makes winter an ideal time for tree trimming. You can see which branches are hanging over your roof and could potentially cause you problems when they are in full bloom in the spring and cut those. Also, you will be able to get up close to the branches throughout your tree and look for signs of rot, pest damage, or cracks and breaks that could make the branches a hazard. With your trees in their dormant stage during the winter, you will also have the advantage of being able to trim and shape your trees while causing the least amount of damage or trauma to the tree as a whole. This will lead to fuller, healthier trees during the spring and summer months. Do Any Interior Updates and Repairs to Your Home During the spring months, you and your family will want to spend time out in the warmth and the sunlight. As such, during the winter is the ideal time to compile a list of the interior aspects of your home that you want to update and repair and get to work on them.  That way, when spring comes along, you can all get outside and enjoy it. If you have flooring or carpeting that need replacing or walls that need repainting, take the long winter months to get those projects done one at a time. Because you will already be inside so much during the winter, you can take your time and ensure everything is done right. And even if you don’t have any major projects you want to undertake, you can still get a jump on your indoor spring cleaning during the winter. Go through the junk drawers and closets that are stuffed full of miscellaneous items and get them organized and sorted out. Or go through your clothes for items that you no longer wear and wish to donate. Now that you have a few ideas of how to make sure your home is ready for spring to come back around, you can get started and have yourself and your home prepared for the next change of seasons. For assistance with your yard, talk to a professional like Schulhoff Tree & Lawn Care,...

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Cooking For The Holidays? Use These Tips To Avoid Inviting Your Plumber To Dinner!

Posted by on 2:27 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Cooking For The Holidays? Use These Tips To Avoid Inviting Your Plumber To Dinner!

Holiday celebrations call for the preparation of traditional recipes, many of which are redolent with rich, buttery sauces, glazes and fillings. Unfortunately, these foods not only build up on the waistline of your family and guests, they may also build up on the interior of your sink’s drains, creating a clog that is sure to threaten your holiday spirit. Since asking your family to forego the dishes they associate with the holidays is sure to be a non-starter in your home, the following tips will help you keep from having to summon the plumber for a clogged drain or other plumbing issues.  Pre-Clean Drains Before the Cooking Begins If your drains are already coated with grease from everyday use before the holiday cooking begins, they will easily fail when cooking your special dinner. To avoid this problem, pre-clean and freshen the drains in your kitchen before you begin cooking. Here is what you will need: 2 cups white vinegar 2 cups baking soda 1 cup lemon juice 1 squirt good quality dish liquid with grease cutting action Heat the white vinegar in a small saucepan, just until it comes to a slow boil. Place one cup of the baking soda in each drain opening in your kitchen sink. Add dish liquid to the lemon juice, stir briefly and then pour half the lemon juice solution into each drain, immediately followed by half the hot vinegar. The foaming action that results helps to loosen and wash away grease particles that adhere to the interior of your drain pipes. This process can be repeated each week to help keep drains running freely all year long.  Trap Problem Foods Before They Can Clog Drains Turkey drippings, dribbles of melted butter and many other greasy foods can clog the drain, just by washing these greasy dishes in your sink. To keep these substances away from your drains when cooking large meals, find a large metal can with a lid, such as a metal coffee can that comes with a plastic lid. (Choosing metal is important, in case any of the food drippings are hot when you place them inside the can.)  Place the container on your kitchen counter, placing a layer of paper toweling underneath it to catch drips. Use a heatproof, flexible spatula to thoroughly scrape all visible bits of grease or residue from the cooking pan or mixing bowl into the can, then wash as usual.  When the dinner is over and the kitchen is restored to its usual good order, simply remove the paper towel and use it to wipe down the outside of the can. Place the soiled paper towel inside the can, seal it with the plastic lid and place the can in with your regular household garbage.   While this plan will definitely help to prevent clogged drains while cooking, other plumbing problems can occur during the holidays. If this happens to you this holiday season, do not panic. Instead, call on a reputable plumber in your area for assistance. Most are willing to make emergency calls, even on holidays, nights or weekends. To learn more, contact a company like Cleveland Plumbing & Heating...

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Why You Should Hire An Excavation Company For Patio Construction

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Are you excited about taking on laying your own concrete to build a patio in your backyard? Before you can successful construct a quality patio, you must excavate the ground. You will find that leaving excavation to professionals is the best thing to do. Discover below things about hiring an excavation company (such as T C Enterprises LLC) so you can decide if you want them to assist with your driveway construction. Why Should an Excavation Company Be Hired for Driveway Construction? One of the biggest burdens of trying to excavate the ground without help from professionals is the time involved with the task. Excavation companies are equipped with the tools and vehicles to get the ground dug up in an exceptional amount of time. For instance, the professionals can bring a backhoe to your house for the project. A backhoe is commonly used because it can dig up large quantities of dirt at a time. The vehicle is multi-functional, so it can also be used for piling up the dirt after it is excavated. Another function of a backhoe that comes in handy when constructing a driveway is leveling out the ground. After the ground is excavated to the depth that you want, the contractors will roll over the dirt with the backhoe to compress the surface in preparation for the cement to be laid out for the patio. After the ground is excavated and prepared to your specifications, the contractors will assist with getting rid of the piles of dirt for you. Hauling the dirt to a dump yard on your own can lead to you having to make multiple trips, and that’s after spending a lot of time loading the dirt on your vehicle. Professionals will use the backhoe to load the dirt in the bed of a dump truck. All of the dirt should fit inside of the dump truck bed at once for efficiency. What is an Excavation Company Expected to Charge? The yard length of your patio will be one of the main things factored into what an excavation will charge. Expect to pay a minimum of $50 for each yard of dirt removed. The price can be as much as $200 per yard of dirt removed if the job is complex, such as if the patio is being constructed on a sloped landscape. Speak to an excavation company as soon as you can so the dirt in your patio area can be removed without a struggle on your...

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Three Durable Options For Comfortable Flooring For Homes With Children

Posted by on 7:53 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Three Durable Options For Comfortable Flooring For Homes With Children

If you have a home with little ones running around, you want to have a durable flooring solution. You may also want to have something that is comfortable for you and your children. There are many different options for flooring solutions, such as carpet and wood flooring. You can also choose from engineered flooring options that have a padded underlayment that makes them a little more forgiving. Here are some of the most durable options for flooring in homes with small children: 1. Padded Ergonomic Flooring For A Temporary Solution Padded ergonomic flooring is an option that you may want to consider for your home. These are usually temporary flooring materials, which means that you can easily install them and even take them up to do a thorough cleaning. They will also give you the option of taking the flooring up and doing something else later. This can be great if you are doing the flooring for children and want to be able to remove it when they get older. This can give you the option to keep floors like hardwood beneath and have them refinished by a hardwood floor refinishing company when you want to change them. 2. Giving Your Home The Look Of Hardwood With Engineered Flooring Hardwood flooring can be another option if you want to have durable floors in your home. Today, there are also engineered flooring products, which can also have padding beneath them to make the floor more comfortable. This can also be an affordable option to get many different types of wood that are sometimes not available or too costly with conventional hardwood flooring. In addition, these materials can easily be installed and removed to take with you if you move or change the flooring when you want. 3. Durable, Stain Resistant Carpets For A Comfortable Classic Look Carpet can be another great option for new flooring in your home. If you want it to be more durable and resistant, consider denser stain resistant materials. These can also be commercial carpet materials, which are more resistant to wear and staining. You may also want to consider a design with hardwood and rugs for comfort, which will give your home the look of hardwoods and a comfortable floor where your home gets the heaviest traffic. These are some of the flooring options that you may want to consider if you have small children. If you are ready to update the flooring in your home, contact a floor finishing service and talk with them about the best options for your...

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Planning a Pool: In-Ground or Above-Ground?

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If you want to have a custom pool built on your property, then there are quite a few choices that you will need to make. From the installation of the pool to the additional features on the perimeter, there are hundreds of different combinations out there. To help make everything a bit simpler, here is one of the biggest decisions that you will need to handle: whether you want an in-ground pool or an above-ground pool. You will need to decide if you want to your pool to be built in the ground (by excavating dirt and rocks) or above the ground (by constructing a pool that is entirely above ground level). Each has its own advantages and disadvantages. Short Term Cost – For in-ground pools, you can expect to pay more and spend longer building the pool. It takes a lot more time and effort to excavate a lot of dirt than it does to put together a prefabricated pool, which is the most common way of building an above-ground unit. Long Term Cost – In the long term, heating costs will usually be higher for in-ground units. However, in-ground units are also a lot more valuable when it comes to the value of your property. If you want to sell your house, then an in-ground pool will make your house look a lot more attractive than an above-ground pool. Depth – In-ground pools also offer you quite a bit of variety and give you the option of getting a much deeper pool. An above-ground pool usually won’t get much deeper than 5 feet, but an in-ground pool can be built to your specifications. If you want to do diving or anything else that requires deep water, an in-ground pool is much safer. Temperature – If you live in a temperate or warmer climate, then an in-ground pool might be a lot more appealing, If you live in a colder area, then that cold can easily permeate an in-ground unit and will make it a lot harder to heat the pool up. Above-ground units can be build with good insulation, which will protect them from temperature swings. Flexibility – Finally, you might eventually decide that you want to move the pool. Perhaps you are moving and want to bring the pool with you. With in-ground units, this is completely impossible. With above-ground units, dismantling the unit and shipping is entirely possible, if you are willing to pay the shipping, disassembly, and assembly...

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How Can I Save My Carpet From Water Damage?

Posted by on 11:23 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How Can I Save My Carpet From Water Damage?

The biggest threat to your carpeting after experiencing a flood will be mold growth. If you manage to dry your carpeting fast enough, it may be possible to save the carpeting instead of needing to rip it all out. Restoring this type of water damage on a larger scale should be done by the professionals, but if you only have a small section of wet carpeting, you can do it on your own by following these 5 steps. 1. Open Your Windows The best way to improve the drying time of wet carpeting is by removing the humidity from the room. Start by opening all your doors and windows in the house, turn on ceiling fans, and place floor fans in an area where it will circulate air throughout your home. 2. Rent Water Removal Equipment Home improvement stores will have tool rental centers where you can rent equipment to extract the water from the carpeting. While you are there, you should rent a big air blower that will do a better job of circulating air in your home. 3. Dry Your Carpeting The blowers should be set up so that fresh air is constantly flowing over your carpeting. Then use your water extraction equipment by slowly moving it over your carpeting in a systematic way to not miss any portion of the carpeting. Be prepared to stop and empty the machine’s water tank periodically as it extracts water from your carpeting. You should also wear clean boots to avoid tracking any dirt into the carpeting. 4. Remove Your Carpeting If you are able to, pull your carpeting off the bordering tack strip. This will also give you access to the carpet pad that is most likely ruined. Thankfully, carpet pads are inexpensive and easy to replace. Throw out your old carpet pad at this time. 5. Hang Your Carpeting Outside You can drape your carpeting over an outdoor clothesline in a place that will get a lot of sun exposure. Check on your carpeting during the day, moving it if necessary to make sure each side is exposed to the sunlight.   Mold typically forms within 2-3 days of a flood, which is why it is so important to act quickly. If you do not feel like you are able to get your carpeting dry within that time, you could consider contacting a local company that handles water damage restoration (such as Complete Restoration...

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Four Different Options For Applying Concrete Sealer

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The fall is an important time of year for applying sealer to concrete pavement so that it will stand up well against the rigors of winter weather. Winter weather can cause freeze-thaw damage and leave concrete surfaces susceptible to hazards such as cracking and sink hole development.  The method you choose for applying concrete sealer will have a significant impact on how effective your sealer is. Your application method should be largely determined by what type of sealer you use. The first thing you should do is check manufacturer’s instructions when you’re deciding what type of application method to use. Before deciding, consider whether your sealer is solvent or water-based. Also, make note of the resin type of your sealer. It should be either acrylic, epoxy, or polyurethane. A third important consideration is what percent solid content your sealer has.  With this information, you should be able to choose between the following four types of concrete sealer application method: Low-pressure spray Solvent-based sealers can be applied using a low-pressure sprayer. Low-pressure sprayers are advantageous in their ability to handle a variety of different types of sealer. They’re also known for achieving exceptional consistency in their coating effect. One slight disadvantage is that a low-pressure sprayer does take a lot of initial setup time and cleanup time to get the job done.  Roller Rollers can be used to apply sealer that’s either water or solvent-based. However, sealers with a particularly high or particularly low solid content may be difficult to apply using a roller. A sealer roller looks very much like a paint roller. It’s best to only use a roller if you’re applying sealer on a fairly flat, regular surface. Using a roller to apply concrete sealer can be time-consuming because multiple coats are usually necessary.  Airless sprayers Airless sprayers are a good general purpose application method for all types of sealer. Not only do airless sprayers function well regardless of sealer type, but they will get the job of applying sealer done quickly even over large areas. The one major drawback of airless sprayers is their expense. Airless sprayers are expensive and usually require equipment rental for most facility owners.  Lamb’s wool Use a lamb’s wool applicator for either water-based or solvent-based sealers. However, lamb’s wool applicators are most often the application method of choice for solvent-based epoxy or polyurethane sealers. Lamb’s wool works particularly well with types of sealer that tend to be high in solid content.  For more information, contact your paving contractor (like Interstate Paving LLC) to see what they...

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