Kick Start the New Season with a Clean Home

clean homeIf there is one thing that seems to get people going, it has to be that overwhelming feeling that comes over you when you visit a friend’s squeaky clean home. It’s only when you get back to the clutter and congestion of your own home that you will begin to notice the subtle (and maybe not so subtle) differences between yours and your friend’s. And at that point, there is no turning back.

Not only does that sharp contrast in cleanliness beckon you to act, it urges you to do so almost immediately. You begin to clean your house in a daring, defiant mood, vacuuming, dusting, and catching up on house work that between seasons had – literally – been swept under the rug. But with all the huffing and puffing, you still find yourself exactly where you started: a tired mess incapable of rejecting your husband’s suggestion that you hire a local maid service to do the house cleaning. The question you must be asking not “why,” but “why not?”

Biting Off More Than You Can Chew: The Benefits of a Local Maid Service

Over time, overlooked chores can pile up. What seems to stop most of us dead in our tracks is the tremendous effort it takes to make all the months of dirt disappear at the wave of a magic cleaning wand. Maybe it’s because we try to bite off more than we can chew instead of simply doing what most people do – delegate responsibilities. Professional cleaning services are guarantee to leave your home so spotlessly clean that you will be able to see your own reflection in the tiles. What’s more is that it is so much easier to maintain what has been brought up to standard than to scrape off the layers of grime yourself in between work and family time.

A Stitch in Time Saves Nine

Now that all the clutter has been packed away, the cobwebs are all dusted, and the grease and grime is all dutifully scraped off, all that’s left is to maintain the pace that’s already been set. No doubt, you have been given a world of advice to get you started. Now it’s up to you to clean up after everyone. Here’s an action plan that’s focused around five main tasks to perform regularly:

  • A quick wipe of the countertops after cooking.
  • A rigidly enforced “after use” put-away system. Knowing the key centers of activity, or “hot spots,” in your home is one way of staying ahead of the game. Make sure that people in their hot spots are aware of the need to put things away immediately after use.
  • Routinely doing the dishes soon after meals. Cleaning up after dinner can be made simple and fun by playing some music or cleaning the dishes with a friend or family member. It also helps to wash bowls, knives, and pots as you cook so that you can lessen the amount of work to do after a heavy meal.
  • Schedule laundry days and chore lists. Everyone has to pull their weight otherwise nothing will change. Keep a schedule in clear sight of the family (if your children are old enough to help out) and watch closely as your home gets tidier with time.
  • Pest and disease control by regular sanitation and fumigation if necessary. As much as your house may now have the appearance of a clean and well-organized abode, pests still need to be controlled to rid your home of potentially harmful, disease-causing bacteria. And if you have an air conditioning system, it will be worth your while to have the ducts and vents cleaned as well. Fungus has been known to build up unnoticed in such areas, posing a potential health risk if left unattended to.

Bringing order to otherwise chaotic living arrangements is not a walk in the park. As you may have realized by now, it is all about breaking the huge chunk of house cleaning work into tiny, chewable pieces. In all likelihood, it will begin with you enlisting the services of a local maid service, like The Maid Crew in Richmond VA, to get you back on track. And once that initial cleaning is done and taken care of, it’s pretty much a piece of cake from there on.

My D.I.Y. Home Window Tinting Nightmare

couple in loveI like to think that I’m a pretty good handyman and my lady loves me for it. However, when it comes to my previous home window tint renovation, it didn’t turn out so great. It all started when I was sitting on my couch in my lovely Colorado Springs home and realized that I was constantly sitting in a bath of our sun’s rays.  We had a lot of windows, which I loved because of the great views of the Rockies, but, I just felt that there was a little too much light blaring into my home. We have expensive furniture & rugs that I didn’t want to be ruined and the excessive light was very distracting when I needed to concentrate or work on the computer. It was because of this that I decided to search for professional home window tint company around the area.

I hopped on my i-phone and started to scour the area for the best company that could provide my home with high-quality window film. Through my research, I also discovered that 3M window film was believed to be the best so I made that a priority to find a business that could provide me with that specific brand. This is when I stumbled upon High Country Window Tint of Colorado Springs, CO.

I gave them a call and set up a free consultation for the following week. The next week they arrived at the time they promised and did a full detailed assessment with my 20 windows. The quote they gave me didn’t sit well with me so I decided to call around to other local Colorado Springs window film companies. It turns out that High Country did have some of the best prices with great reviews to back them up with. I still wasn’t happy with the price so I decided to purchase some 3M window film and try it for myself.

I headed down to Lowes to investigate what style of film I wanted to purchase. I knew I wanted something that would block out just a small amount of light so I decided to pick one of their lightest 3M window film coverings. It would block out the unwanted light while protecting my family and me from any harmful U.V. rays. I decided to get the one that had a light bluish tint on it. The store clerk explained to me that the blue was achieved by blending in certain metal compounds that put off a blueish color.

nice homeWith all of my materials bought, I headed back to the homestead. I began measuring out all of my windows which was easier than thought because there were only two different sizes. With the measurements in place, I began cutting the window film to size. Next I began to clean the windows and used a razor blade to clean up any paint that was near the edges. I dried them off then applied more water to apply the window tint. I peeled the backing and started to put the tint on the windows. With the first film panel in place, I realized that I had not bought a squeegee.  Luckily for me an old DVD case did the job good enough. I slowly worked out all of the air bubbles but some didn’t seem to be coming out and this is when I noticed small specks of dust or dirt behind it. I then took off the entire covering and cleaned the surface again. I had previously used a paper towel to put more water to prime for the film which I believed to have left behind paper fibers that caused the air bubbles. This time, I decided to use a sponge what seemed to work well.

I went through and applied the rest of the window tinting coverings and left it to sit and dry. Over the next few weeks, I started to notice more air bubbles, some with dirt or dust inside. It seemed like my methods just didn’t work and it was getting worse over time. With my frustrations slowly building up, I had decided to give the professionals at High Country Window Tint another call. I was sick of seeing my terrible attempt at this very time-consuming improvement. These guys came over and were able to get my situation fixed in no time with excellent results. They were even able to salvage a few of the window tint panels, but the others needed to be tossed because of crooked cuts and snips.

For anyone thinking of tackling a window tint renovation in your own home, I suggest your reconsider.  If you’re in Colorado Springs, contact a reliable business like High Country Window Tint.

Home Improvement Options for Seniors

stair lift 2Instead of moving into an assisted living facility, many seniors are making the decision to “age in place.” By definition, aging in place involves living independently in one’s home, well into old age. Seniors who choose to remain in their home as they grow older typically do so for a variety of reasons — including the cost of assisted living housing, and the sense of independence and dignity associated with living on one’s own property.

Although it may be more cost effective and preferable to age in place, it’s not without its own necessary procedures. As people age, weakened bones and a decreasing sense of balance make falling a significant concern. Certain components of our home that we typically take for granted, such as steep stairwells, lofty shelves, or stacks of magazines sitting on the floor can be potential falling risks for older seniors. And as aging in place doesn’t provide the 24/7 care found in assisted living facilities, special precautions must be taken to prevent falls well before they occur.
If you or a loved one is choosing to stay in their own home through old age, consider the following home modifications in order to improve the overall safety of the home.

Add Night-Lights to Hallways: If you’ve ever had to walk down the hallway to use the bathroom or grab a snack in the middle of the night, you probably know how easy it is to trip and fall when you can’t see where you’re going. A simple solution is to buy some night lights to light up walkways and stair ways — anywhere that you think you or your loved one may need to access in the dark.

Easy to Reach: Many cabinets, pantries, and closets feature notoriously high shelves that are nearly impossible for most people to reach without being on their tiptoes or using a step stool. Both of these actions can cause a senior to lose his or her balance and fall. Be sure to prevent this risk by moving all necessary items from high shelves to shelves that are more within reach, especially if you or your loved one is “vertically challenged.”

Convert Multi-Story Home to One Story: This may not be immediately necessary, but when impaired mobility prevents the possibility of going upstairs without risking injury, it maysenior toilet be time to move the home downstairs. This could involve converting an unused downstairs dining room or office into a bedroom — essentially reducing the need to use stairs. However, if a conversion isn’t a possibility — as is the case for many seniors — you may want to invest in an electric stair lift.

Railings in the Bathroom: Possibly one of the most important precautionary steps to take in home modifications for seniors is to add railings in the bathroom.
The bathroom floor and the tub can be particularly slippery when wet, and are the most common places for seniors to fall and injure themselves. The best way to prevent risk is to install easy-to-grip bars around the toilet and in the shower or bathtub so the person can hold on if they lose their balance. A couple other good ideas are to install a seat in the shower, or a walk-in bathtub.

Bonus: In-Home Care

Many seniors who choose aging in place simply don’t require the high level of care provided by assisted living facilities. However, many could still benefit from a little help around the house. If this is the case, hiring in-home help is an excellent option. In-home caregivers offer help with anything from preparing meals, home cleaning and maintenance, yardwork, check-ins, transportation to doctors’ visits or the grocery store, or even simple companionship. Seniors Helping Seniors in Rowlett, TX is a great example of an in-home care service for seniors choosing to live independently.

Aging in place can be a great option for seniors who are able to live independently. However, especially when living alone, the necessary precautions must be taken in order to ensure safety and prevent dangerous falls.

Top Benefits Of New Window Installation In Your Home

Going along the lines of last weeks post (can you tell we have been window shopping lately) I wanted to share a bit about the details of what the benefits of new windows are once you have decided you need them. Lets begin.

Almost everyone would agree that a home is the largest investment a person will make in his or her lifetime. Replacement window installation is one of the most important aspects a person must consider if he or she wishes to maintain or increase the home’s value. Below are some of the numerous benefits associated with replacing old, drafty units with custom crafted windows. Thank you to my local Renewal by Andersen window installer in New England for helping provide this information.

Energy Savings Resulting in Lower Monthly Power Bills

home energy efficiency guideWindows that are in substandard condition allow warm air to escape from the home, which in turn, results in a higher fuel bill for the homeowner. Additionally, during hot months, cool air escapes in a similar fashion. This causes the home’s air conditioner to work harder than usual, which also increases energy costs.

Some people are unaware of a leaking window’s impact on the consumer’s fuel bill. A homeowner would most likely not even consider allowing a window to be left wide open throughout the winter season. However, numerous energy studies show that only three to four panes in the home that have small leaks result in the exact same amount of heat loss as the wide open window scenario.

Increased Property Value

house made of moneyMany homeowners would agree that not only are they concerned with maintaining their property, but strive to increase its value, as well. No homeowner should be in a position where he or she cannot make a profit when the home is sold. Replacing old, outdated window units that leak air is an ideal way to instantly increase the value of any dwelling. Real estate agents commonly inquire about replacement windows when a person is listing a home for sale.

When the property owner can prove that custom measured replacement units have been installed by a professional window contractor, it allows the realtor to list the home at a higher price. This is because prospective buyers are far more likely to choose a house that has already had such work completed. This is particularly true for models that are made in the USA, as this assures prospective buyers that top-notch quality can be expected.

Windows with insulating glass save virtually all homeowners a substantial amount of money on heating and cooling costs each year. Therefore, replacing old units that are in poor repair with new energy efficient models will solve this problem.

New Windows offer More Convenience

easy open clean windowFor most individuals, convenience is an important consideration when embarking on any home improvement project. Standard old-fashioned windows are typically made from materials that are time consuming to maintain. If the frames are wood, they must be painted each spring in order to ensure they maintain an attractive appearance. Most homeowners would agree that this can be a lengthy project depending on the number of windows in the home.

Washing older model units can also be a difficult task since they are often hard to access. Depending on where each window is placed, the project of cleaning may result in the need to use ladders or awkward equipment that can be cumbersome or even dangerous. Additionally, panes may need washing during the winter season, but homeowners often find that this task must be put off due to inclement weather.

Most contemporary, energy efficient replacement windows feature a “tilt-in” option. This option allows both the interior and exterior panes to be accessed from inside the house. This considerably cuts down cleaning time as there is no need to set up garden hoses, ladders, or wait for pleasant weather.

Aesthetic Appeal from High Quality Window Replacements

beautiful replacement windows in MassachusettsWhere a window was once considered an entirely practical object, most manufacturers now realize that they are a decorative part of a home, as well. There is no better avenue in which to improve the appearance of one’s home than to replace old, unattractive window units with shiny new panes framed in modern, attractive material.

The eye is naturally drawn to the window units of a home, more so than any other area of the dwelling. With this in mind, if a homeowner must choose only one project with which to enhance the beauty of his or her home, it should be an investment in US manufactured, custom crafted replacement windows.

5 Signs That Indicate It’s Time to Consider Replacement Windows for Your Home

The window is probably the only part or component of your home that is exposed to the internal as well as external wear and tear at all times. Windows enable you to allow out light, air, and sound into your home by simply opening the same. Conversely, you can keep out sunlight, moisture, wind, sound, and debris by closing the same.

Contrary to what most homeowners think, windows are not designed for permanent use. Buying replacement windows will allow you to enjoy the benefits of the latest designs and technologies to improve your home’s appearance as well as enhance your protection from the outer elements. Just keep a lookout for the following signs that indicate that it is probably time to purchase new windows from a reputed replacement windows company.

old windowStructural Issues

A brand new home always has windows that can be opened or closed without any hassles. Irrespective of whether the home has conventional hinged wooden windows or modern sliding aluminum windows, people rarely face structural issues with their windows when moving into a newly-constructed property.

As time goes by, seemingly-minor issues creep in and you may find it difficult to open or close the windows properly. Expansion and contractions due to temperature variations, vibrations, natural wear and tear, and other issues create alignment issues in windows. If ignored, this problem can compromise the structural integrity and safety of the windows. The simplest solution to this problem is to install replacement windows.

Erratic Temperature Variations

Mechanical issues like difficulty in opening or closing the windows are merely one sign of structural misalignment. Presence of erratic temperature variations in your home is another indication that you need to purchase replacement windows from a reputed replacement windows company like Blue Ridge Exteriors in Richmond VA.

Modern windows are designed to improve the home’s energy efficiency through proper control of the internal climate. Use of inert gases in dual or triple-paned windows ensure your home remains warm during winter and cold and comfortable during summers. As time goes by, this insulation may get degraded and this may affect the energy efficiency of your home.

If you find your power bills rising despite having good quality HVAC equipment or if you notice temperature variations in rooms with external windows, then you should consider opting for replacement windows.

Visible Signs of Decay

Over a period of time, wooden windows start decaying with the timber becoming soft, porous, and brittle. Metal frames will suffer cracks and may get warped out of alignment. Detailed inspection, especially of the outer surface, of your windows can help you identify visible signs of decay or damage. Remember, weak windows pose a significant threat to the security of your home, especially if you don’t have protective bars on external windows.

Replacing the windows will help you rectify alignment issues that may crop up in the brick-and-mortar structure due to water runoff, minor quakes, and wind erosion. Since it may be next to impossible to remove windows without damaging them, opting for brand new replacement windows can help you make your home safer without compromising on aesthetics or functionality.

Noticeable Increase in Sound Pollution in Your Homereplacing windows

That windows help control noise pollution is something that people realize only after damaged windows allow sound and noise to enter the home. If you get the feeling that your home has become noisier without any perceptible change in the external environment, then it is a clear indication that your windows need to be replaced at the earliest.

Replacement windows designed to operate in a high-noise environment can help you enjoy a healthier and happier ambiance in your home. Closing your windows should result in a significant reduction in the entry of ambient noise and sounds. Keep this point in mind when discussing your options with the replacement windows company.

Obsolete Style

You may not have realized it but ugly oversized wooden windows may be spoiling the overall look and feel of your modern-themed room. Replace conventional windows with metal sliding windows that can accentuate the new-age look of your home. While you may not want to buy replacement windows merely for aesthetic reasons, keep in mind that spending a small fortune on interior decoration may prove to be a waste unless your windows match your décor.

Since windows serve aesthetic as well as protective functions, it is natural for the constant exposure to take its toll over the long run. This is why you should consider opting for replacement windows at regular intervals to protect your home’s appearance, safety, and functionality.

Keep Your Carpets Beautiful For Longer

Best Carpet Cleaning Company Arlington VACarpets enhance the look and feel of any room. They come in a wide variety of styles and colors to match the interiors. Their presence has also been proven to reduce noise significantly. Walking on the soft fibers is more comfortable than on bare floors, especially during the cold months. They even provide cushion to ensure the safety of small children and the elderly. With all of the benefits they bring, they deserve a little love in return to make them last. They should be maintained throughout the year with professionals being called in every so often.

Professional Carpet Cleaner

Professional Arlington Carpet Cleaning CompanyThese floor coverings are, by nature, exposed to a large number of undesirable elements: dirt, sand, grit, allergens, stains, and many more. The impurities can get lodged deep into the fibers causing discoloration. They may also pose health hazards if they get inhaled, stuck in open wounds, or absorbed into the pores of the skin. Homeowners may be able to remove dirt on the surface but not those buried deep. This requires special tools and techniques that only the pros can provide. Be sure to call a carpet cleaning company for a thorough wash.

Types of Cleaning Methods

Before choosing a service provider, check what type of process they use for washing. A number of techniques have been developed over the years with varying effectiveness. Examples include shampoo, Bonnet, encapsulation, rotary wash, steam cleaning, and dry-ice blasting. The hot water extraction process is widely considered as the best method among them all. In fact, it is what all the top companies use to ensure that their clients get excellent results. They bring specialized machines that can go through each of the targeted rooms and leave them looking as good as new.

The Hot Water Extraction Process

Carpet Cleaner ArlingtonKnick knacks have to be stowed away and the furniture removed to give the cleaners room to work. Heated water, sometimes mixed with a cleaning agent, is blasted onto the carpet to wash it off. At the same time, another part of the machine vacuums the water and the dirt that has come off from the fibers. Thus the floor will never be drenched for long. Carpets covering a room of average size can be cleaned in well under an hour if there are no special concerns. The furniture will be restored to their original place soon after with protective padding underneath strategic areas.

Eco-friendly Cleaning

Too often when using shampoo some unwanted scent or remnants can be found on the floor. It can be frustrating to have things cleaned only to find particles clinging to the fibers. A great thing about hot water extraction is that this is never an issue. There is little to no residue after everything has been completed. Pressurized heated water is the primary tool and no harsh chemicals are added unlike other methods. Children with allergies and other sensitivities need not be worried about possible adverse reactions.

Water Damage Restoration

Rug cleaning companies typically offer other relevant services including water damage restoration, furniture cleaning, and upholstery cleaning. Homes that suffer from floods where natural or manmade can minimize loss by responding quickly to the situation. Call a 24/7 emergency service to stop the flow and remove water immediately. The affected belongings will then be cleaned and dried thereafter.