Starting Something New in Your Home – Contractors Are the Answer

There are many things to consider when beginning a new project. You will want to think about the safety of everything, the planning, the strength and stability of your home as it is, the time that will go into the project, the materials needed and the end result. This is a lot to think about, so many people try to do these projects on their own to save money, but in the long run, getting it professionally done in the first place will save you money.

Each state has different codes and standards that have to be met. These codes are designed by region because there are so many different needs. For example, someone in the desert has different needs than someone in the mountains. It is possible to do some small projects well. Things like small cabinetry or changing out hardware on doors and things is simple and can radically change the way things look. However, many people try to take on tasks beyond that and are surprised at the amount of work that goes in to it.

Contractors are people who can help you with this. They are licensed people who have skills in certain areas. There are contracted builders, plumbers, electricians, etc… These men and women have had to go through licensing procedures to make sure that they know what they are doing. When hiring a contractor, be sure to check that their licensing is up to date and accurate for your needs.

You will want to be sure to find someone who specializes in whatever it is you’re looking for. You wouldn’t hire an electrician to do your framework work, and the same goes for builders. Make sure that they know what they are doing and one of the best ways to do this is to check their licensing. It should be for the state that you are in and should be recent. The reason the state is so important is because things vary by regional needs. Different weather and different land types can determine what types of things you need to use in your project.

Being licensed is a necessity. Licensing means that your contractor has the appropriate training and knowledge about whatever you’re about to start. You want quality work and this is the best way to make sure that that happens. You want everything up to code so that the value of your home appreciates instead of the other way around, and you want to have confidence in the strength of everything.

While hiring someone to do your project can seem a little daunting, it is the best way to go to have quality work. Having things done on a set time frame will bring you great results so that you can begin to enjoy your new home.

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Updating Kitchen Cabinets

Curb appeal is a home improvement that is often overlooked. While curb appeal can take on different forms with various cost levels involved, it can greatly improve the aesthetic of any home. Not only will you benefit from upgrades to the exterior of your home, but also your neighbors will as well. Not to mention curb appeal is one of the first thing that potential buyers look at as the first impression of the property.

Here Are The Top 10 Tips To Boost Your Home’s Curb Appeal:

Update the front door. This can mean a fresh paint job in a bold color or a brand new door. Sometimes homeowners will install a storm door which also can add to the aesthetic of the home.

Refresh the siding. A simple power washing can make a home shine in some instances, where other homes may call for brand new siding or a fresh paint job.

Update the trim. Just updating the trim color of the home or adding more trim elements to a home can make a big difference in overall appearance.

Clean the windows. Windows are often a neglected staple of many homes in terms of being cleaned. Another tip is that some home sellers will go as far as removing the screens in some rooms to accentuate the outdoor view.

Accentuate windows. Shutters or a window box can add a decorative element for little costs involved.

Revitalize landscaping. Simply planting some new plants or replacing old ones can make a difference. Bringing in color can also help. Landscaping choices can both accentuate features in a home and also hide ugly spots.

Freshen up the entry. Decorate with a wreath on the front door or siding. Place inviting furniture on the porch or add potted plants.

Replace old hardware. Update the address sign, entry door lock and handle, mailbox, front porch, railings or steps. It all goes into making an impressive entry.

Brighten things up with outdoor lighting. Not only should your home catch people’s attention during the daylight hours, but also after dark too. Outdoor lighting can not only act as a security measure, but also can provide the home with an attractive view at night.

Don’t overlook things. If something needs maintenance or repair, then fix it. From a crack in the sidewalk to a driveway that needs resurfacing, it can all make a difference in the curb appeal of the property.

In the real estate world, curb appeal means everything. Often a potential buyer will drive by a property before they even contact a real estate agent to view it. Not only can curb appeal draw a buyer in to look at a property, but it can also mean that a home sells quicker and potentially for more money. A picture is worth a thousand words and, when your home is photographed for a listing, the primary shot utilized in the majority of marketing material is the exterior of the home. With 90 percent of buyers looking at available homes online, it’s important that your home make a good first impression and curb appeal can be an important lasting impression.

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How to Repair Siding: Step By Step Vinyl Siding Repairs

Storm damage, stray baseballs, and even backyard barbecue accidents can leave your vinyl siding looking less than ideal. When your house siding is damaged, not only does it look unattractive, it also fails to protect your home from the weather, insects, and other threats. However, the good news is that you can actually repair your exterior siding for a quite affordable cost. By switching out the damaged pieces for new panels, vinyl siding repair can revitalize your home’s appearance, restore its protection, and go easy on your wallet all at the same time.

If you have several sections of severely damaged siding, it might be worth doing a complete new siding installation. However, if the damage is confined to a handful of areas, you may find that vinyl siding repair is a more cost-effective route. House siding repair is a relatively straightforward process, but there are a few tricks to getting it right. You will require some knowledge of siding installation techniques as well as a special siding removal tool. Many DIYers can safely and effectively complete this project on their own, but if you’re not comfortable with tackling your own repairs, a local siding contractor should be able to provide assistance at a reasonable rate.

The very first step, before you ever start cutting or removing the old siding, is to do a color check. This is an extremely important step because vinyl siding can fade after years of exposures to the sun. Hold up a piece of the replacement siding against the area in need of repair. Do the colors match? If so, proceed with the repair process. If not, you need to go back to the drawing board to find a more suitable color match. In some cases, especially with small repairs, you can swap out the new siding for a piece of the old siding, maybe in an area behind a tree or bush that won’t be so obvious. Then you can complete the repair using the old, matching piece of house siding.

The vinyl siding repair process itself is quite simple:

Evaluate the damaged siding and determine which panels need to be replaced. Then measure out the length needed for the new siding, adding 2 inches on each siding to create an overlap.
Use your siding removal tool to carefully loosen the bottom edge of the siding panel you plan to replace. In most cases, this will be easiest if you loosen it along its entire length.
Carefully cut out the damaged siding using a utility knife and snippers. Be sure to only remove the length of the repair piece, minus 4 inches (for the 2 inch overlap on either end).
Again using the siding removal tool, lift the bottom edge of the siding above the piece you’re about to remove, revealing the nailing strip. Carefully pry out the nails and remove the siding.
For the overlap, snip off the bottom J-channel and top nailing strip from the replacement siding (2 inches on either end).
Fit the replacement panel into the hole, running the new siding on top of the old at the ends.
Secure the siding by nailing into the nailing strip.
Hook the J-channel of the upper piece of siding into the new section with your siding removal tool.

And that’s it. Your siding repair should blend in and be almost unnoticeable, leaving your home looking great.

For professional-looking results, here are a few additional pointers:

When removing the old siding, be careful not to tear the surrounding vinyl or you may end up doing a larger repair than you planned!
Make sure the new siding overlaps the old siding at least 2 inches on each side edge. This will ensure complete weather protection for your home as well as providing a more attractive appearance.
As with all siding installations, make certain that the nails are NOT snug
when putting in the new piece. This will prevent the siding from moving
as it expands and contracts and can lead to broken or cracked siding
down the line.

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Cheap Home Remodeling Tips – Tile and Grout Cleaning

There are many ways that you can cut costs when remodeling your kitchen. First, if you don’t have the funds to do it all at once, start with one aspect of the kitchen, and do things one at a time. For example, you can replace the floors now, and later redo the countertops. Also, look for things that can be easily repaired or refurbished without having to be replaced altogether. Simply replacing the cabinet doors on old cabinets can dramatically change the way that your entire kitchen looks. Discount paint and wallpaper can be found at a number of outlet stores, and serve as simple ways to give your entire kitchen a facelift.

Accessories such as knobs, drawer pulls, cabinet doors, and shelving can be purchased through online auction sites such as eBay at a fraction of the cost. Hardware and fixtures such as vent hoods, lighting kits, faucets, and sinks can also be found at a number of closeout stores as well. One inexpensive way to change the overall appearance of your kitchen at little cost and with a little bit of effort involves the use of ceramic tiles. Professional tile and grout cleaning and installation companies frequently throw out a large number of chipped and broken tiles, and even whole tiles that are no longer in style. You can also find discount tiles at closeout home improvement warehouse and at online auctions. By purchasing some grout and a few tiles, you can create a decorative mosaic from pieces of tile or use whole tiles to create tile countertops or backsplashes. The look of tile is timeless, and can be very attractive in a kitchen setting. In addition, tile does not scratch like formica countertops, and is very easy to clean.

Routine tile and grout cleaning can be done with a discarded toothbrush and a mixture of baking soda and water. This paste can be brushed on the surface and will eliminate mildew and other set in stains that tend to discolor grout. Tile and grout cleaning is a task that many people dread, but it really is quite simple. If you live in a home that has existing ceramic tile that may be stained or even chipped in places, a professional tile and grout cleaning service can help breathe new life into your kitchen, giving you a revitalized look for very little money.

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Uploading to a Alarm Lock Trilogy

How to Program the Alarm Lock Trilogy:

1. Make sure your all your programming is set. This includes making sure people who should have access are turned green, and the people who do not are turned red. (Do not turn anyone white, because the lock will not recognize that particular code and render the audit trail feature useless.) Also, if you are using time zones, make sure the appropriate people are in the appropriate groups.

2. Close the “Global” screen.

3. Double click the lock you are updating. (Yours may say front door, back door, main entrance etc.)

4. At the bottom of this screen is a button that says “send/receive.” Click that button and select “send to lock.”

5. Make sure that the option for “all” is selected. (If you were simply updating the time you would select “date/time”) It is usually better to just select “all” and update everything.

6. Before you click start, plug in the USB cord to your computer and the banana cord to the lock. Remember the black tab on the cord slides into the black receiving hole on the lock.

7. The next step is to push a series of buttons on the lock: 298 298

8. Now you may hit “start” on the computer, and the program will begin to load. This should take no more than 5 minutes.

Things to note:

- You should hear a beep every time you hit a button. If it does not beep, you did not hit the button.
- If you are downloading an audit trail it is the exact same procedure, except you want to select “receive from lock” not “send to lock” as mentioned in step 4.
- If you plug in your USB and you receive a message on your computer that says “found new hardware” you will need further instructions, to update the drivers.

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