Need to hire an air duct cleaning professional like chimney sweep Phoenix for your home? You may be spending several hundred dollars, and scam artists may try to convince you there’s dangerous mold or health issues in your ducts to get you to spend even more money. For instance, that $49 coupon that came in the mail might end up costing you a whole lot more.
Never fear; here are some tips to ensure you’re hiring a reputable air duct cleaner and not just a blow-and-go company who’s trying to scam you.
Are they NADCA members?
Air duct cleaning companies who hold membership and certification in NADCA are your best bet for a reliable company.
NADCA members agree to follow the association’s code of ethics and must carry liability insurance to maintain their membership. At least one person employed by the company must have completed NADCA training and hold certification. NADCA members also agree to follow the association’s best practices, which involve addressing the entire HVAC system and not just the ductwork.
What should I look for
Your budget isn’t the only thing to consider when you decide to cover your garden with artificial grass. Installing fake grass is nothing short of an investment, and if you want your turf to last long, making the right choice is necessary. Don’t let this worry you once you know about the different types of turfs, you’ll be able to take the right decision like artificial turf Gilbert AZ. Here are 7 things you should consider before buying your turf.
Artificial grass requires less maintenance than natural grass. However, maintaining artificial grass will increase its longevity and keep it looking great for years to come. All turfs need to be cared for more or less the same way; some will need more frequent care than others. Choose a turf depending on the amount of time you can put in to maintain it. Take the weather conditions in your area into consideration too- falling debris from trees or other sources will mean more maintenance. Don’t forget maintenance costs- if a cheaper turf requires you to spend more money on regular maintenance, you should rather purchase the costlier turf that won’t require you to spend or do much to keep it
A garage is a natural place to hide away anything you don’t want cluttering up the inside of your home, whether it’s a box of holiday ornaments or outgrown clothes. The problem is that over time, the space can start to look like a dumping ground. “If you can’t fit a car or two in the garage, you need to reassess what you’re keeping in it and how it’s organized,” says Amelia Meena, owner of Appleshine, a New York–based organizing service. She recommends doing a thorough garage reorg twice a year, as your storage needs will change seasonally. Here’s her five-step plan for getting the job done.
Put it on the calendar
While you can probably chip away at cleaning up your closet, tackling an organizing project like a garage is better handled all at once, says Meena. For most people, she recommends setting aside a weekend for the project. “If you commit to overhauling the space and setting up a system, any future changes become much more manageable.”
Consider your ideal layout
Before you start organizing, set your priorities for the garage, says Meena. “This will help you figure out how to best divide up the space.” For some people,
Being an interiors journalist has given Claire Bingham insider access to many incredible homes, and she’s learned a thing or two about great design along the way. In her new book, Modern Living: How to Decorate with Style (TeNeues, $55), she reveals how to think like the top interior designers whose work she’s witnessed. “Yes, you can devise a scheme based around a gorgeous new cushion, but it is best to think less about colors or details. Focus more on the mood and emotion, instead. Homes should make you happy,” Bingham writes. She walks us through the decorating process room by room, with tips and tricks for overhauling a space or just making a few quick upgrades. Here, we share some of her most memorable pieces of advice.
Once you’ve come up with an overall idea for your living room and determined your furniture needs (and where those pieces will go), it’s all about adding character, says Bingham. Here, an old sofa was reupholstered in a funky floral fabric that matches the wallpaper.
Photo: Harlequin, available from Tapeten und Uhren/Courtesy of TeNeues
Once you’ve come up with an overall idea for your living room and determined your furniture needs (and where
– Buy a quart first instead of a large quantity in case you’re not committed to the color. Paint a piece of foam board and move it around the room to see how the light affects the color at different times of the day.
– Know the square footage of the room you are painting before you head to the store. The pros recommend one gallon for every 400 square feet. Covering textured, rough or unprimed surfaces may require more.
– Don’t apply latex on an oil finish and vice versa without first sanding the walls (remember to wear a mask) and wiping away the dust particles with a tack cloth. Apply a primer of the same composition (oil or latex) of the intended topcoat. To tell whether your current wall color is water- or oil-based, douse a white cloth with rubbing alcohol and rub it on the wall (in an out-of-the-way spot). If the paint softens and begins to transfer onto the cloth, it is water based. If the alcohol does not remove any color, it is oil-based.
– Don’t underestimate how long it’ll take you to get the job done. Allow at least 24 hours to dry before bringing everything back
Tip 1: To avoid lap marks, roll the full height of the wall and keep a wet edge
Roll the full height of the wall
Lap marks are those ugly stripes caused by uneven layers of paint buildup. They occur when you roll over paint that’s already partly dry. (In warm, dry conditions, latex paint can begin to stiffen in less than a minute!) The key to avoiding lap marks is to maintain a “wet edge,” so each stroke of your roller overlaps the previous stroke before the paint can begin to dry.
To maintain a wet edge, start near a corner and run the roller up and down the full height of the wall, moving over slightly with each stroke. Move backward where necessary to even out thick spots or runs. Don’t let the roller become nearly dry; reload it often so that it’s always at least half loaded. Keep the open side of the roller frame facing the area that’s already painted. That puts less pressure on the open side of the roller, so you’re less likely to leave paint ridges
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Tip 2: Mix several cans of paint in a large bucket for a consistent color throughout the
1 7 Smart Tips for Painting Your House
Few home-maintenance projects are as important as exterior painting because paint and caulking form the first line of defense against rain, snow, and ice. And a nice paint job will enhance the curb appeal and resale value of your home, too.
You want to repair and repaint as soon as you notice paint starting to crack, blister, and peel. Ignoring these problems will lead to a much more extensive—and expensive— job. Below are seven exterior painting tips every homeowner should know, whether you’re planning to paint the house yourself or hire a pro.
2 Paint Options
There are two basic types of exterior paint: water-based latex and oil-based alkyd. Latex cleans up with soap and water, dries quickly, has low odor, and remains flexible longer so it’s less likely to crack. The best quality latex paints contain 100 percent acrylic resins.
Alkyd paints require mineral spirits (paint thinner) for cleanup as opposed to just soap and water. But many professional painters prefer alkyd paint because it’s durable, stain-resistant, flows very smoothly, and dries with fewer brush marks. But alkyds have a strong solvent smell and dry very slowly.
The one you choose is
1. How to Paint Your Walls Like a Pro
Interior painting is by far the most popular do-it-yourself home improvement activity, and it’s easy to see why. There’s no better, more affordable way to freshen up rooms than with a new coat of paint. Plus, painting isn’t terribly difficult and doesn’t require specialized training. Any able-bodied homeowner can paint rooms—all you need is a little patience, practice, and some helpful advice.
These painting tips can help even novice DIYers achieve professional-quality results. Follow these suggestions and you’ll not only paint better, you’ll work faster and neater, too.
2 Prep the Surface
A successful paint job starts with properly preparing the surface you’re going to paint. That means you must scrape, sand, patch, and fill every hole, crack, dent, and surface imperfection. This isn’t the fun part of painting a room, but it is the most important part. No paint, regardless of its cost, color, thickness, or manufacturer’s claims, will hide a pockmarked or cracked surface.
3 Tint the Primer
Priming walls and ceilings is mandatory whenever you’re painting new drywall or painting over a dark color. But it’s smart to prime any time you paint. Primer serves three main functions. First, it
Professional home stagers know how to play up your house’s strengths, hide its flaws, and make it appealing to just about everyone. We talked to several pros across the country to get their tips for freshening up your home’s interior—without breaking the bank.
1. Set The Tone at The Front Door
If you want your house to make a great first impression, paint the front door a fun, glossy hue. “Red is a lucky color in many cultures,” says Lara Allen-Brett, a New Jersey-based stager. A red door meant “welcome” to weary travelers in early America, and on churches it represents a safe haven. Two other hues gaining favor: orange and yellow, according to San Francisco-based stager Christopher Breining. Both colors are associated with joy and warmth. One thing that should go: an outdated screen door. Get rid of it or replace it with a storm door with full-length glass that you can switch out for a screened panel.
2. Keep Wall Colors Light and Neutral
Stick to colors like beige or gray, especially on the first floor, where flow is important. “You want to minimize jarring transitions,” says Breining. Neutral walls give you the greatest decorating flexibility, allowing you to easily switch up
Rule to break: Use color in small doses
“Often when I flip through a catalogue, it would appear we live in a world of beige, a great big bowl of coffee ice cream,” says Redd. The designer prefers to embrace rich hues, as in this windowless entryway “where it appears glittering rather than dull like dishwater.”
“I think people see tiny rooms and they think they need tiny furniture, but often one large thing kissing the ceiling will expand the room,” he says.
“I think people see tiny rooms and they think they need tiny furniture, but often one large thing kissing the ceiling will expand the room,” he says.
“Good decoration can be so correct, it can be a little boring,” says Redd. The mega metal mosquito on the ceiling of an otherwise formal living room in Houston “takes the edge off things and shows you have a sense of humor.”
Photo: Thomas Loof
Rule to break: Mind your manners in formal spaces
“Good decoration can be so correct, it can be a little boring,” says Redd. The mega metal mosquito on the ceiling of an otherwise formal living room in Houston “takes the edge off things and shows you
I hate to break it to you, but designers don’t follow a secret rule book. There are no hard and fast laws governing what we do. We are creative types by nature and love to imagine, dream and explore, following our intuition. That said, there are some rough principles that guide us to ensure a great result every time. They are just tried and true things that work. And these aren’t tricks or skills that take years to master. Anyone can do them from day one. Consider this a foundation for developing your own quirky, creative, rule-breaking intuition.
Traditional Bedroom by White T Design
White T Design
1. Pick the paint color last. I get calls all the time from homeowners who want to pick a paint color before they move in. I get the logic. Why not arrive to walls with a fresh coat of paint? Of course you can do it this way, but in my opinion it’s not ideal.
There are thousands of paint colors with various tints, tones and shades. And each one looks different from home to home, because light sources vary, meaning what looks good in your current home might not in your
Landscaping and designing your outdoor living areas can be a challenge. You’re working with elements that sometimes may seem beyond your control. Weather, weeds, and critters all can alter your home’s landscape. But with a few key essentials, you can successfully create and maintain a beautiful yard and garden that best showcases what your property has to offer. Rely on these artistic principles to take the mystery out of garden design, even if you are working with a professional.
For homeowners, line is one of the most important and useful of all outdoor design elements. Everything in your lawn and garden illustrates a line. Think about the trunk of a tree, the distant horizon, the line created when a lawn ends and the adjacent woods begin. A sidewalk, driveway, or fence is a clear and readily accessible line in the landscape. As you plan and design your garden, always consider the line that is created by whatever you are adding.
There are four main ways to describe lines: curved, straight, horizontal, and vertical. None is more important than the others—each has different effects. Strong lines can draw your eye into the landscape, directing both where people look and where they go.
If you’ve never tackled a landscape design before, you might be overwhelmed by all the choices you can make. But the same principles that guide your room setup inside should guide your designs outside, too. Here are seven ideas for landscape design for beginners.
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Make a list of needs and wants. Do your kids need a play space? Do you want to grow vegetables? Would your family gather on a patio? Do some very rough sketches of the yard with thoughts of where you want to place things; it’s a great organizing principle for landscape design for beginners. “These aren’t master plans, just ideas,” says Marianne Lipanovich, author of the Big Book of Garden Designs (Oxmoor House, 2008). “The one I did for our front-yard overhaul was literally a few lines and a couple of circles, but my husband understood the plan, and we went ahead with formal planning out on the site. You can easily play around with ideas without a lot of time and commitment.”
Study the sun and wind patterns. You might want to place a patio on the west side of the house, but it will get lots of afternoon sun, which
I’ve always thought that the best gardens are those that make people happy and comfortable. Sure, great gardens look good, but they have to feel good, too. The gardens I admire most are relaxing, easy to move through, and not too hard to maintain. Paths and structures must be simple to navigate, while the plants selected must provide interest and serve a function without being bullies or prima donnas. As a landscape architect, I tackle these issues of comfort and utility every day. Here are 15 practical tips that have helped me create enjoyable, livable gardens for myself and my clients.
1. GIVE A WIDE BERTH
Make sure your pathways are wide enough for comfortable passage. Nobody enjoys squeezing through narrow spaces, indoors or out. Main thoroughfares should be wide enough for at least two people to walk side by side, no less than 5 feet. For secondary paths where people walk single file, the width should be at least 3 feet. Keep in mind that the taller the plantings or structures that flank your walkway, the wider the path needs to be. Tall boundaries make any space feel more restricted.
2. WATCH YOUR STEPS.
Outdoor steps and stairways should ascend
Here, the latest tips and tricks from Paul James, host of Gardening by the Yard:
1. To remove the salt deposits that form on clay pots, combine equal parts white vinegar, rubbing alcohol and water in a spray bottle. Apply the mixture to the pot and scrub with a plastic brush. Let the pot dry before you plant anything in it.
2. To prevent accumulating dirt under your fingernails while you work in the garden, draw your fingernails across a bar of soap and you’ll effectively seal the undersides of your nails so dirt can’t collect beneath them. Then, after you’ve finished in the garden, use a nailbrush to remove the soap and your nails will be sparkling clean.
3. To prevent the line on your string trimmer from jamming or breaking, treat with a spray vegetable oil before installing it in the trimmer.
4. Turn a long-handled tool into a measuring stick! Lay a long-handled garden tool on the ground, and next to it place a tape measure. Using a permanent marker, write inch and foot marks on the handle. When you need to space plants a certain distance apart (from just an inch to several feet) you’ll already have a measuring device
Keep tabs on your garden. Create a scrapbook using an inexpensive photo album and add your plant tags and sticks to it each season. Then, make it as detailed as you’d like by adding information as to where the plants were purchased and where the plant was located in your garden. Add your own artistic flair with sketches of your garden or photographs. Get details from The Family Handyman »
Spray your favorite garden shovel with a silicone or Teflon lubricant to make shoveling a breeze. A good coating of this spray will make any type of soil slip right off the shovel without a mess. Get details from The Family
Take the strain out of lifting large planters and pots by filling the pot one-third to one-half full with packing peanuts. Be sure to place a piece of landscape fabric on top of the packing peanuts and then layer on your potting soil. To reduce the weight of the pot further, use a potting mix with lots of vermiculite and peat moss. Get details from The Family Handyman »
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Before your next trip to the local nursery, line the back of your car with a plastic tarp
1. If its getting cold and you have tomatoes still ripening on the vine — save your tomatoes! Pull the plants up and bring them inside to a warm dry place. Hang them up, and the tomatoes will ripen on the vine.
2. Keep garden vegetables from getting dirty by spreading a 1-2 inch layer of mulch (untreated by pesticides or fertilizers) around each plant. This will also help keep the weeds down.
3. Paint the handles of your gardens tools a bright, color other than green to help you find them amongst your plants. You can also keep a mailbox in your garden for easy tool storage.
4. Compost needs time to integrate and stabilize in the soil. Apply two to three weeks prior to planting.
5. There is an easy way to mix compost into your soil without a lot of back breaking work: Spread the compost over your garden in the late fall, after all the harvesting is done. Cover with a winter mulch such as hay or chopped leaves and let nature take its course. By spring, the melting snow and soil organisms will have worked the compost in for you.
6. Like vining vegetables, but don’t have the room? Train