Home services

Most people who are in a position of home ownership are usually itching to find improvements for their homes that make it distinctly theirs and improve the value of their home. We are often tempted to renovate our bathrooms, kitchens or closets or home offices. Its true that these updates can increase the purchase appeal as well as add to your own quality of life, but its may be more likely the case that it doesn’t really add much value to your home, and the potential buyers will want to replace whatever you did to make it distinctly theirs, or it will be such a head ache through out that you will never enjoy it and lose a fair amount of money in the process.

The home improvement projects that will pay you back for a change are not most glamorous by any means, buy with all the money you save you can are going to feel pretty fancy when you look at that full bank account. Here are the five projects that will help you be balling on a budget, and get the home to work for you rather than the other way around. This is coming from the National Association of Remodeling Industry and Nation association of Realtors so trust us, we called the experts. 

First up is replacing your roof. I know what you’re thinking, ” I thought this was cheap improvements.” But you would be surprised that this large scale project is actually relatively inexpensive. But you can recoup 105% of the value of the job when you do decide to sell. The NARI has estimated that you’ll likely spend $7,600 to remove your old roof of a 2,640 square foot 2 level house and install a laminated architectural asphalt shingles. Just something to consider I suppose.

Up next is that your old hard wood floors. The home improvement projects with second highest return of investment is when you refinish your hardwood floors. This essentially transforms your dull scratched wood floors into shiny good as new flooring in a really cheap and exciting way. Homeowners can typically recoup 1005 of the expense so I say go for it, or should I say go floor it.

Another all function no fashion improvement is to upgrade your insulation. This as you could imagine is the third highest return of investment you can do and is expected to recoup 95%. This will probably run you about $2,100 when adding 10 inches of blown in cellulose insulation to your attic. This again is according to the NARI. This is a biggie because you are just going to think of the heat you are keeping in your home as pure cash given the huge energy costs we see today. 

Last buy not least is that you replace your garage door with a sleek automatic garage door opener. This is something that is low cost but has a big affect because it is the face of your home and is an upgrade everyone will see and serves and kind of the first impression we get on our homes.

The largest solar provider in the United States, Solar City, has launched its new solar loan program that is going into effect in 14 new states across the US. This is making it possible for consumers to immediately pass less for solar than they do for their traditional electric bills and is a historic tipping point for both environmentalists causes and the solar industry in general. For everything up to this point it has long been the case that people only justify their move to solar for environmental or sentimental causes, given the high cost of installation and maintenance. However, all that is about to seriously change and its a beautiful things. This is all part of a movement to make our homes more efficient. 

This was announced this week and Solar City is unveiling its new solar load program in 14 new states to test the waters before they go world wide with the platform. “We can now offer a loan that makes it possible for many customers to pay less for solar from day one, and still receive thousands back in tax credits on top of that. This program will allow thousands of additional customers across the US to install social this year and start saving money immediately, and we expect to work with multiple lenders, that will allow us to expand to several new states by the end of the month with the same kind great terms for out customs.” Says the acting CEO of Solar City.

The terms of the new loan agreement will look something like a 10 year loan with an annual percentage rate as low as 2.99% if you decide to go the 20 year route it an annual percentage rate would be just under the 4.99% threshold.

This is going to allow customers to prepay their entire balance or prepay a portion of their loan to lower their monthly payments at any time, with no fees or penalties which is huge for consumers. The reason this is so big is that a lot of wanting to avoid a solar loan is because it is just that, a loan. People know that they will be locked in for years and years and will end up paying way more than what the product is even worth. Today all that is changing and if you ever get the chance to pay it all off at once, whether its a bonus at work or diligent savings you can pay it all off in one swoop and save yourself from the mill stone that is perpetual debt.  

Solar City is going going to be implementing these new initiatives in Arizona California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Texas, and Washington D.C. with new locations expected to be announced in the coming months. This is going to be a slam dunk deal for Solar City and as we can see non of their competition is offering anything near as insisting as these them. With time being of the essence it is going to be interesting to see if they can scale in time or if they will fall flat.

 

Whether you’re towing a teardrop or a multi-story tiny home, you’re likely to appreciate having access to electricity in the middle of whatever isolated forest. More often than not, that means installing a secondary battery next to the primary battery under your hood or to be towed around in front of the camper.

This can cause a lot of confusing, mysterious, and potentially very dangerous electrical problems for you unless you take the proper precautions. Step one? Install a continuous duty 12 volt direct current solenoid or relay to protect your vehicle’s primary battery from needless (and often perilous) draining. A solenoid makes it possible for your secondary battery to receive charge from the primary battery when the engine is running, but not to sap energy from the primary battery when it runs out of juice. That means you don’t have to risk needing to jump your car all alone in a desert or difficult terrain where few people pass by.

taco buikdHow do solenoids work? Solenoids disconnect the charge line between the primary and auxiliary batteries when a car’s ignition is turned on. If possible, it’s a good idea to power your solenoid using your car’s fuse panel, which is generally located under the hood or behind a plastic lid under the dashboard. You can use a test light to figure out which fuses are energized then the ignition is on but are not energized when it’s not.

When you’ve found one like that, you can use the male end of a spade terminal to wire 12 volts of power to your solenoid with 16 AWG wire; it should plug into any vacant fuse slot in most vehicles. Want a simpler option? You could use a standalone 12 volt power socket that is only energized with the engine running.

If your vehicle doesn’t have extra 12 volt power sockets, you can probably get away with wiring directly to the fuse panel.

Once you’ve got your start battery safely protected from your house batteries, you’re set to saux2tart focusing on exactly how you’d like to wire your home. It’s nice to have two batteries for your living quarters. You’ll also probably appreciate having an inverter rated to at least 1,500 watts, potentially rated to 2,000. That way you can change the 12 V direct current from the batteries to 110 V alternating current, and then you can start to use standard appliances in your home like water boilers, blenders, toasters, microwaves, egg beaters, air conditioners, and whatever else you deem necessary in your mobile paradise.

As for a brief overview of what all the wiring will look like, you start from the positive end of the vehicle start battery, connect it to a circuit breaker, and then to the solenoid. The solenoid is connected to the ground and to the automobile’s fuse box, in addition to one of two secondary batteries. These secondary batteries are connected to each other, and each is connected to a 1,500 to 2,000 watt inverter. This creates 120 V of alternating current, prime for usage by your appliances in your home.

 

The kitchen is the heart of any home. It’s not just where people go to prepare their daily meals; often it’s a place where family members catch up with each other, daily events are recounted, disagreements are hashed out and reconciliation is made. No matter where you go, you’ll find that people gravitate towards food, and that’s where house and greater culture undoubtedly develops.

kitchen2That means when it comes to designing your own kitchen, you’re not just deciding the details of your food prep; you very well might be making crucial home improvement decisions that will affect the way people gather and feel in your home. The stakes are high, but don’t worry; there are steps you can follow to ensure that you plan out your dream kitchen to compliment your dream home. This article will teach you how.

The first step? Assess your kitchen needs. Every home owner is different and has different expectations and needs for their food prep process. Make a list of what you want, what you can actually afford, and what you undoubtedly need to keep your kitchen running smoothly. You may want to prioritize the items on your list so that when monetary boundaries eventually surface, you already know what items can be cut and which are the foundation of your kitchen’s proper functioning. Remember, just because you can’t afford your own fresh doughnut maker yet doesn’t mean you’ll always have to go without it.

Then you need to keep your budget in mind. It’s easy for home projects to begin to spiral out of control, price-wise, so it’s imperative that you make sure to lay out a budget beforehand as well as some plan-B’s that still allow for you to remain underneath your financial ceiling- just to be sure that you’ll be able to keep your head above water.

It’s important at this stage that you consider whether you want to hire a profession to help you to design your kitchen. It can be overwhelming for a novice to encounter the myriad of decisions involved in kitchen remodelling, so you may want to save yourself the strain and get someone you can trust to take the reigns.

kitchen3Whether you opt into getting professional help or decide instead to take the task on completely yourself, at some point you are going to want to take pen to paper and really get to designing your ideal kitchen lay-out. There are some websites that can help you with this and provide advice for, say, which appliances tend to be handy to keep together and how much counter space you might need based on how many people meals tend to be prepared for.

Perhaps the most important element to planning your kitchen is how large that kitchen will ultimately be. If the space in your house doesn’t really allow for your ideal size, come to grips with this fact early and see how much space you can salvage by using petite appliances, for example. Kitchen shape is generally seen as the second-most important factor.

The old platitude “Use it or lose it” is applicable even in the world of home refrigeration. In other words, if you want your refrigerator or freezer to work more efficiently, you have use all possible space or you’ll lose some of your refrigerating capabilities.

enery efficientThis is because each time you open your freezer, you allow cold air to escape and warm air to flow inside. Studies have found that the majority of the energy your freezer uses, for example, is attributed to simply retooling the air that flows inside the freezer when you open it. If your freezer is totally full, there’s less room for warmer air to take up and the items in there help to cool down any air that does sneak in. That means keeping your fridge full will translate into less energy used to keep it cool.

However, only big families can fill their fridge to the brim without food inevitably going bad. That’s where it becomes helpful to back your fridge or freezer with non-food items, just to keep your cooling efficiency up. There’s a lot of items that you can choose between, but here’s a few examples.

Newspaper will help you if you move food items towards the outer sides of your freezer and stuff the interior spaces with newspaper. Bag of shipping peanuts can help too; they take up lots of room in mostly empty freezers, and the bags can be molded to fit whatever spaces your food has left.

Ziplock bags full of water also help with energy efficiency. They’ll take up space and even freeze and keep your food cold if there’s a power loss or a busted fuse. Don’t want to risk a leakage? Fill plastic to-go containers with water for the same purpose and stack them on top of each other like building blocks. They’re much easier to take in and out according to how much space you have, and they can still fill small gaps in your fridge. Another possibility? Fill a milk jug with water for the same purpose.

packing peanutThis is, of course, all assuming that you don’t have enough food to keep your refrigerator or freezer full. Maybe you do, in which case placement of the items can also help you to achieve top freezer efficiency. It all starts with defrosting and drying your freezer and moving your food items towards the front and sides so that you can grab them quickly and easily when it’s time to take them out. Then you fill the interior central cavity with whatever non-food item best fills the gap; that means milk jugs, packing peanuts, tupperware full of water, and the like.

A word to the wise: when you’re packing your freezer for energy efficiency, you can go too far. Don’t fill it to the brim with packing peanuts or newspaper. In fact, you’re going to need to leave air space around the edges and top of your freezer’s thermostat can sense the temperature of the freezer and keep your food frozen.

Your fusebox holds the secret to the control and distribution of the electricity in your house. It’s important to know where it is in case you ever need to turn off the electricity due to an emergency, and in general it’s safer for you to understand how it works so you don’t make any mistakes and are better prepared to deal with emergency electrical situations.

The fusebox is sometimes locate din the garage or outside the main house. Sometimes they’re inside the house, however.

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Once you’ve found the box, you have to see if it’s a Fuse or Circuit box. The difference lies in whether you see round, glass topped shapes or small tubes with metal ends. If you see either, you’re looking at fuses. If there’s switches that you can toggle, you’re looking at a circuit breaker box.

If you’ve got a fuse box, you might want to go to the hardware store and purchase a few extra fuses just in case one fails. Be sure to pick fuses with the proper amperage (amperage is the measure of the amount of electricity that an electrical appliance uses).

It also makes sense to keep a flashlight near your fusebox, and to make sure that flashlight’s batteries work and are fully charged. It’s also helpful to keep some rubber gloves near the fusebox.

So contained within your fusebox is a main switch, fuses and/or circuit breakers, and Residual Current Devices.

The main switch allows you to turn off the electricity supply to your home. You might have more than one main switch if your home has electric storage heaters or something of the like. In that case, you may have a separate fusebox.

The residual current devices are switches that trip a circuit under dangerous conditions, instantly disconnecting the electricity.

The circuit breakers are automatic protection devices in tech fusebox that switch off a circuit it they detect a fault. They’re about the same size as the fuses but give more precise protection so that only the faulty circuit is switched off and you don’t lose access to the electricity in your entire house. When they ‘trip’, you can just reset the switch once you correct the fault and everything should function swimmingly.

circuit breakerSometimes instead of circuit breakers you’ll find fuses, which are rewirable and have a special fuse wire running between two screws. When a fault or overload flows through the fuse wire, it heats and melts, breaking the circuit and disconnecting the faulty circuit. This is the easiest way to keep you safe.

If and when a fuse blows, the first thing you should probably do is unplug all appliances that are plugged in to receive electricity from the overloaded circuit. Then be sure to turn the main breaker off within the box. This is very important for your safety! Toggle the main On/Off switch to the “Off” position. Find and wear your gloves when working in the fuze box and remove any jewelry, and also be sure to wear rubber-soled shoes. If you need a ladder to reach the panel, use a non-conductive wood or fiberglass one.

I know what you’re thinking: impossible. How and why would any good housewife bring it upon herself to sharpen her precious stainless-steel blades with something as mundane and likely to scratch as sandpaper. You already have your sharpening stone oiled under your sink anyway, so what’s the point in looking any further for knife sharpening needs?

sandpaperWell it may benefit to tell you that there are many different ways to sharpen knives with sandpaper, and you can pick whichever one best suits you based on your very own preferences so, benefit number one, you actually get to make a decision about something for once.

Before you rush forward in excitement, you likely want to clean your knife of any dirt or food particles. Grab a brick or a block of wood from your back yard, cover it with sandpaper, and then run the blade of the knife (lying flat) across it in a circular motion. Remember, you want to spend an equal amount of time on both sides of the knife to ensure cutting equality. Make sure you give each side at least a few minutes.

Another method: if you keep the knife at about a 22-degree angle and stroke it across sandpaper, making sure the tip is also making contact, you can sharpen it that way too. To get a 22-degree angle, make sure the knife edge is against the sandpaper at a 90-degree angle, then a 45 degree angle, and then 22-ish will be right in the middle of that. You don’t need must pressure with this method, just make sure to move the knife away from you as you draw it across the sandpaper.

whetstone2You may be more familiar with methods involving whetstone, as most people are. Here’s the thing about wet stones: they’re non-disposable and require you to waste precious oil on them for preparation. They also are slippery and, considering you use them to sharpen knives with, not the best thing to be putting a pressured blade against. Finally, the surface can be corrupted by continuous knife sharpenings, making the wet stone less effective and potentially more dangerous (if the stone causes your knife to slip in different grooved paths, you may find yourself accidentally losing control of a very dangerous motion).

Sandpaper, on the other hand, is familiar to most and has great traction, meaning that you have that much more control over where it’s going and, as a result, where your knife is going. It’s also disposable, cheap, and comes in a variety of grains to better suit your particular knife sharpening project. If you want quick knife sharpening without the hastle of summoning your own elbow grease, you can even use a power sander on the blade of your knife to be chopping up even the toughest meat in seconds. Just be sure to wear goggles and non flammable clothing; sparks will fly!

Ok, hope this article helped you with all your knife sharpening needs and please tune in later for more appliance related advice!

When it comes to maintaining your emotional and financial well-being, the same tried and true phrase applies: little things can make a big difference.

What if every time something in your kitchen went wrong, instead of seeing a dent in your fun money, you saw a chance to experiment and better your understanding of physics and the world around you? With some basic knowledge of kitchen appliance repair and maintenance, you can make this optimistic perspective a reality.

whetstoneLet’s start off easy: keeping your knives sharpened. No matter how nice your knives are, they’ll dull eventually and if you buy inexpensive knives, they probably weren’t very sharp to begin with. If you want to amp up your blade game, you’re going to need to go out and buy something called a whetstone, preferably with one course and one fine side. The night before you’re planning on sharpening your knives, put the whetstone in a deep pan and cover it with household or light machine oil. Let it soak for at least eight hours then wipe any loose dirt off of it using a soft cloth soaked in mineral spirits (also called white spirit, mineral turpentine, petroleum spirits). Just so you know, when you’re not using the stone you can just keep it in a sealable plastic bag or a box with a lid.

So now the whetstone is prepared for use: oil its surface lightly and hold the knife you’re sharpening with the blade at a 30-degree angle to the stone. If your knife is very full, use the course side of the whetstone first. If it just needs a little tuning up, skip to the fine side.

Now it’s useful to discuss what a bevelled edge is. A bevelled edge refers to an edge of a structure that is not perpendicular to the faces of the piece.  A knife’s bevelled edge is its sharp edge.

bevelled edgeOk, you’ve got your knife and your prepared whetstone. Now you push the full length of the blade’s bevelled edge gentle but firmly away from you, at a diagonal across the stone. Turn the knife away from you and repeat the same motion at the same angle. Make sure to do the same number of strokes on each side. By alternating the strokes, you’re able to avoid allowing any tiny burrs to accumulate as you’re sharpening. Remove any debris on the knife with a soft cloth.

If you’re working with carving knives and other fine stainless steel blades, a fine-grit silicon carbide slipstone will be a better choice than whetstone. It’s also better to use smaller, circular motions to sharpen these kinds of knives. Again, make sure to sharpen both sides to keep them even.

Sharpening steel is great for touch ups; you can simply pull a knife’s cutting edge across a length of steel (make sure these sharpening motions are always in the opposite direction of your body!), stroking the entire length of the blade from handle to tip. Again, make sure to do this on both sides.

Scissors can benefit from a little maintenance as well; after all, dull scissors are really frustrating and practically useless. Instead of replacing them, sharpen the old pair on lightly oiled whetstone just like a set of dull knives. You probably can get away with just using the fine side of the whetstone. Make sure you only work them on their bevel edge; scissors sharp on both sides are pretty dangerous.

Painting home is really an art and you can have great fun while painting your home. It is to be remembered that beautiful paints can make you feel the coziness in the environment. It will help in revealing the beauty of your dream. But you need to be more careful that even a small mistake in the painting may spoil the entire beauty of home as well as your dream. Hence each and every step towards the painting must be placed carefully. Right from choosing the paint to the equipments to be used, everything must be planned well in prior. Here are some exclusive painting tips which will help you to spice your home with beauty colors.

Choose the quality paint

Before choosing the color, it is more important to choose the paint which is made up of good quality. Good quality paint will have resistivity against water and dust particulars. Today there are many exclusive paint brands in the market which are considered to be water proof. Especially such paints must be chosen for the exterior walls as they are supposed to withstand the atmospheric changes. Hence choose different paints for your interior and exterior walls. Obviously the best paints in the market will be little costlier than other brands. Remember that these paints are not only supposed to add beauty but they are also meant for the protection of walls. Hence the paints which you choose must not cause any negative impacts on the walls.

Choose the best color

Today the paints come in many exclusive colors and you can be free enough to choose the best among them. But always remember that the color of the paint must enhance the beauty of the home and they should not cause negative impact on home. If you are poor in choosing the color or if you don’t have idea on the exclusive colors in the market, you can also approach the experts to choose the best color for your interior and exterior. Since the professionals have good experience, they will help you in coming up with the best colors. You can also make use of the exclusive software in the market to come to a better conclusion. With this software you can review the beauty of your home with varying colors and can choose the best among them.

Use the right equipment

All the above mentioned effort will go in vein, if you fail to choose the best painting equipment. Today there is massive painting equipment in current market which can be used for easy painting. Since the option is wide, choose the equipment which is easy and safe to handle. For example, the equipment should not cause any impact to the walls while using on it.

If you find all these tasks to be tiring and risky, you can hand over the responsibility to the professional painting services who can complete the work on time. A good professional service will also help in completing the work with good finishing.

fox5Most of the person is looking for best service to keep the home appliances in good condition for long years. To achieve this maintenance and repair steps it is important to catch the best source to regain the value of product. One of the trusted home appliance service providers is Wolf Company where the customer can get the repair solution from all type of home appliances product.

The main trusted name for this company is derived from their quality of service in perfect time. The ovens are playing best role in the kitchen area to prepare the fast and delicious food. The service from wolf oven repair provides excellent quality of replacement and the trained engineers in this company provide the best assistance to repair the product and bring them in to good condition.

They are using perfect tools to maintain the oven without corrosion. They have not only provided the repair steps but also they have imparted guidance to maintain the oven with perfect condition. The technicians are highly experienced in this field of home appliance repair. They have also taught installation steps for the customers. The guaranteed home appliance service provider is authorized dealers of wolf oven repair. The technical engineers are give assist the customers about maintenance steps and self testing of repaired products. In the oven heat fluctuation is the main problem happened regularly. So they have concentrate on the cleaning and testing of the oven used in kitchen.