Archive for ‘Living’

March 17th, 2014

How to Paint Your Interior Walls for Your Wedding?

by Edwin Rosenthal

Painting is important for wedding as it gives the new look to your home and changes entire look of the rooms and also the feel of the home within a very short period of time and cost. Painting is therefore, a very affordable way to update your rooms with such a small expense.

The tools required for the painting are as follows, the painting brush, house hold cleaner, drop cloths, putty knife, paint roller and paint tray, drywall compound or sparkling, latex interior paint, screw driver etc. Arrange all of them; they are easily available at paint and hardware stores.

Many people think that painting an interior wall is like an easy design fixing and think that painting with a light color needs only one coating, but that will be in rare cases according to the previous paint color, if it is light and same color then it is possible for one coating.

For starting of painting the first thing, you need to do is move all furniture away from the walls and remove wall papers, photos, and any other items which are hanging from the wall. Also remove the electrical plates and the outlet covers. After removing the switch plates replace the screws so that they may not missed or get lost. After that, cover all the flooring with the drop cloths.

Then, the next step is to remove all the dust from the wall and clean the walls thoroughly by using the cleaning solution of household. Then after that rinse them with water and allow them to dry. Then again prime the areas of strains by using the oil based primer. After that repair, remove all the holes of the nails and any other blemishes with the help of the putty knife and compound or sparkling.

Then trim around all the doors, windows, baseboards, and the intersections of the ceilings, also the walls by using the brush. Choose a color of your choice but choose a light color because it not only looks decent but also gives a bright look when you switch on the lights in the evening and you can also decorate nicely on the light colored walls without any risk because the light color will suit for each decorations and even it will look nice after decoration.

Then, start painting the walls from the corners of the top, by using a paint roller and paint tray that should be in down way of the wall. Start painting small sections and began new sections beside the previous, then blend the paint edges together while still wet. Then continue doing quickly so that you may not pause before completing a wall.

After completion of wall, let it dry completely and then you decide whether the second coating is necessary or not. If necessary then repeat the procedure for one more coat. Then finish all the walls in similar manner.

After finishing the painting completely, clean all the brushes, trays, and rollers using warm soapy water. Then remove the drop cloths, so it is better if you leave it for one full day to dry, remove because there may be chances of damaging the furniture and floors. After completely drying, replace the pictures back on the walls.

This is how you should paint your walls for your wedding, hope you will enjoy the painting and feel good and happy at the end.
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February 6th, 2014

Energy Efficient Home Improvements Tips

by Dov Waxman

The home is the largest investment for most of the people. Your home has many things that conserve energy in a large amount. If the energy systems in your home are more than ten years old, you need to consider updating those systems. The new generation of energy efficient systems like environmentally friendly insulation, heating and air systems will help you to make your house more energy efficient and finally it will save money in the form of bills and taxes.

  • Air and heating: According to energy.gov, cooling and heating of the homes will takes around 56 percent of energy. In a 2000 sq. ft. house will cost between three to five thousand dollars for installing an updated high voltage alternative current (HVAC) system. If any additional work requires it will be around six to ten thousand dollars. It will take several years for homeowners to get return on investment (ROI). Investment on HVAC will become excellent only when you are planned to stay for more than five years or the HVAC system aged over ten years. You can see more savings with this system if you stay with it for more time. With the new systems, you will reduce greenhouse gases and carbon pollution significantly.
  • Doors and Windows: With the improperly fitted doors, a large portion of energy is wasted. If single pane windows are replacing you can save over four hundred dollars per year. The windows replacement can cost around two to four hundred dollars. If you have newer windows, install caulking around the frame it will help to increase your energy efficiency. Adding insulation to your home can be one of the lowest expensive energy efficient investments, and adding this correctly could save around 20 percent on cooling and heating bill. The insulation is one time investment to your home. Once you insulated your home it lasts forever and keep on lower your energy costs.
  • Lighting: Lighting accounts for approximately one fourth of the energy budget even it takes the smallest portion among others. Using LED and compact florescent light (CFL) bulbs will save considerable amount of energy. Initial costs of these bulbs are very high than the traditional light bulbs, but these will more reliable and energy efficient than them.

Most of these energy improvements to your home needs a large initial investment. But you can get greater benefits in the future. The government offers tax rebates for these improvements. Investments on light bulbs and insulation will show you immediate energy savings. But the investments on doors, windows and HVAC systems will take some time to show the results. If you are planning to stay in the home for a period of five or more years, these improvements will be beneficial to you. If you want to sell the house, check how much these can value added to your home.
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January 29th, 2014

Roof Checking Tips before Buying a Home

by Debbie Harry

Purchasing a home, whether upgrading from current one to new or the first one is an overwhelming prospect. Many factors need to consider at the same time such as the integrity of the structure, the layout, the neighborhood and the price etc. Along with them roof checking is one of the important to consider. If you properly checked the roof, it will save you a big amount. There are different roofing materials; we will see each of them.

Clay tile roofing: These can last for more than twenty years. In the clay roofing, you need to check for the underlayment (i.e. waterproof coating on roof base). Find out if there are any cracked or broken tiles. Broken tiles allow more UV rays and water to reach underlayment and it leads to decrease the performance. If you find there is any debris (dirt, leaves, branches etc.) on the roof, means that it is there for years. It blocks the water and increase the worn rate.

Asphalt shingle roofing: The asphalt shingle roofs can last between fifteen to twenty years depending on their grade and thickness. The asphalt base protects the granules (sandy, hard part of shingle roof) from UV rays. The roof will deteriorate fast once they are worn out. If there are any loose granules in large amount, the tipping point for the roof is near. Check on the roof itself, near spouts and gutters. When the tips of asphalt lift up, curls will occur. The shingles are normally positioned as flat, if you find it is not like that, the roof is near to its end. If the roof material becomes too brittle, split shingles will occur. If you find this on the roof, that needs to be replaced.

Foam roofing: These roofing last for ten to fifteen years. Re-coating may extend its life span for ten or more years and is the cost effective factor. Pour a little water on the roof and check after one or two days. If the water is at one spot, means roof significantly under perform. If the owners use patio furniture on the roof, it will cause for holes on the surface. Over a time, these will cause for leaking. The foam roofs are generally painted white. This paint absorbs the heat of the sun. If it is appearing as yellow, it needs to be replaced or repaired.

Metal roofing: If you maintain properly, metal roofing may long last for nearly forty years. Give a light tug at the edge of the roof, you can find an issue when the roof is loose. Dull roof without a coating or evidence of rust are the signs for that roof has been not caring well. Check for broken bits of the metal.

If the manufacturing quality of the roof is of low quality, it will cause for lasts less period than the expected. Ask the homeowner who did the job and research on that company before you come for a decision.
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November 25th, 2013

Tips for Searching a House While Buying

by tocuser4

Searching for a perfect house needs a great deal of patience. There may be many or a few houses in your required area. Going to each house and checking them will need a lot of time and effort. Preparing your requirements before visiting the houses will help a lot to make proper decision.

  • Set your priorities: Before you are going to start searching for the homes, sit down with all members of the household and write out everything you want in a home by taking inputs from each one. Choose a top-list such as top five or top three must haves in the home. Keeping this list close to you will help not to deviate from your must haves in the new home.
  • Location counts: There is an old real estate joke about it as “location, location, location,” but it still repeating. How far are you really willing to travel back and forth to your place of employment? How good the local seniors services, public transportation, shopping centers, schools and other public amenities? Is it too near to the commercial areas? etc. If any of these make you vacate the house and try for new one means you made a bad choice. This is because location is crucial.
  • Make a comparison chart: Keep a list of features each house has very difficult when the number of houses you are visiting is increasing. Prepare a check list or a comparison chart for each house. Once you visited the house, fill it and write the notes that you observed and interested during the tour. In the notes beyond the basics like baths and beds, write the cost per square foot, storage space, natural light in each room, the condition of the exterior and the roof, and landscaping. Make a chart with this information. The chart can help you make a good decision.
  • Get approved for mortgage: Your top dollar house price is a function of your creditworthiness, household income, interest rates, the type of loan your selected and the cash ready with you for the closing costs and down payment, among other factors. Ask a mortgage broker or a lender to give you a letter stating that the qualified amount to borrow and a full assessment rather than you are guessing or estimating how much the can afford to spend. The actual amount you need might be much less or much more than you think.
  • Prepare to make an offer: Searching for a home to buy can also be frustrating, especially if you know in your heart as you are not really financially or emotionally ready to buy. Do not put yourself through the exercise, if you are not ready. Go through the blank purchase contract ahead of time, if you are ready. So you will know when you make an offer what decisions you will face.

While you are visiting a house, check out the light at different times if possible, check the neighbors, surroundings, and noises, if any or probable. Take the interior and other photos to evaluate and useful even to cross check before you are signing on contract. read more »

November 12th, 2013

Car Body Inspection Tips while Buying a Used Car

by Debbie Harry

While purchasing a new car there is no such need to clearly inspect all the parts. But in case of a used car, inspection is a must. There are many accidents occurring everyday. Some cars are squashed or stripped for parts and some are written off, but the remaining cars are come into the market as used cars. Any car can restore ever after a collision, in these cases identifying of collision is very difficult.

Carpets, trim and upholstery: Check for the wear and tear in trim, upholstery and carpets of the car.

Accident damage or Rust: Check inside the boot, lower sills and doors for dark, red or other stains, the floor wells, bubbled or dimpled paint. Check the panels for plastic body filler with a soft fridge magnet. Rust or other damage may conceal with a vinyl roof. Once the car is having five to six years old, it will show at least some rust unless the car is rust proofed properly. Rust is an issue with used cars in winter months where salt is used.

Some cars have the rust on a few spots, and in some cars brake components, body panels and through floors. The rust spots can fix or repair for temporarily. But it is difficult to stop when the corrosion process is started. If the car had many rust parts, it will reappear later. So if you found major rust parts, it is better to avoid for used cars.

Paint: Look for over spraying, ripples or dents and color variation. Look at the car alongside and from different angles to check paint texture of different panels match, color, and everything looks straight. The possible body repairs can also recognize by checking the quality of a paint job. Fresh paint looks slightly different in appearance or different texture. By looking at the reflection, sometimes can spot the differences in paint textures. The original paint should be perfectly smooth, check it by touch.

Panels fit: Check for the panel fit. If the panels are loose, it indicates that the car has been driven regularly over the rough roads or caused because of accident. For example when doors are closed, with the other panels it should be perfectly flush. This is same for trunk lid, hood and other other panels.

Hail damage: The hail damage is mainly found on horizontal panel surfaces like boot lid, roof, and bonnet. If there are any signs of hail damage on the car, check with the insurance company. Because they may not insure the hail damaged cars until it is fixed.

Floods and water logging damage the car. They might not effect immediately, but it becomes more more expensive to repair the car in the long run. Flooded water can enter into the different parts of the car and damage by corrosion.

Check out for musty smell, water stains on door covers, roof liner and on the seats. Inspect trunk covers and door covers for water level signs. Check for the history report and if the car is came from the recent flooded area, check more thoroughly. read more »

November 7th, 2013

How to Identify Antiques?

by Dov Waxman

Antiques are among precious and valuable furniture that add an elegant look to your house. Whether you live in a modern or traditional style, antique furniture can be great in adding glamor to your home decoration.

However, knowing an antique whether it is fake or real can be a difficult task. In this article, you will read tips that will help you in identifying real antiques.

Tips for identifying antiques

  • Checking the hidden parts of the furniture: An antique that is real will have more than one material used for making it, whereas an antique that is fake is made using single material.
  • Checking the nails: If the antique furniture have nails and other accessories that perfectly look alike, it means that the antique is not a real antique as furniture in past was made by hand and the accessories would not match each other. Also make a note that unlike the present nails, nails in the past had big heads with square stem section.
  • Checking the carving on the wood: Antique furniture had hand carvings that are uneven and asymmetric, whereas the furniture that is freshly made uses machines for carving, thus making the design look even.
  • Color of wood: The color of the wood darkens as it ages and therefore you can recognize past ones over the present ones. Every wood has its own texture, color and weight. The most commonly used wood to make furniture in old days was oak and walnut. Antique furniture are smooth to touch and the pores are closed completely as they tend to shrink with age.
  • Checking the odor : Antique and old objects always have a dusty smell of odor, which helps you in identifying real over fake.
  • Checking for Veneer : Wood furniture is coated with veneer since ages. For identifying whether the antique furniture is real or fake, it is better idea to check the thickness of veneer on the wood, because the veneer used in past was thick whereas the layer of veneer is thin in the furniture manufactured today.

These are some tips for making out whether the antiques are real or fake. These tips are likely to help you in buying antiques successfully. read more »

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November 6th, 2013

Tips For Storing an Air Conditioner for Winter

by Jonathan Cogley

Once you are done with the usage of air conditioners in the spring and summer, it is time for the arrival of winter, when you don’t need the air conditioners. So, it should be stored in a safe place where it won’t get damaged from dirt, dust and other debris.

Following are some of the tips that will help you store your air conditioner for the winter:

  • Make sure your air conditioner is unplugged and turned off.
  • Remove and keep it on a towel as there may be some water in the air conditioner. Placing it on the towel will absorb the water instead leaking it all over the floor.
  • Cleaning of indoor unit requires more work. It often requires a professional help. However, if you want to clean it by yourself begin with the filters of the air conditioner. Remove and clean the filters with warm water, you can also add some detergent in water. An old toothbrush or vacuum’s brush should be used to clean the filters. Make sure that the filters dry completely.
  • Out door unit should be cleaned once in a while. This is often ignored by many people. However, clean the outdoor unit with the help of a cloth or a sponge.
  • When trying to store your air conditioner, store it in the sheltered box as there is a risk of mice and rats chewing the wires. Make sure that the place you are storing is dry and away from direct sunlight.
  • To prevent damage to the appearance of the air conditioner, store it in its original box.
  • Store it in a proper position. It should be stored in upright position. If it is not stored properly it may damage the compressor and other parts of the air conditioner.
  • If you are not willing to remove the air conditioner, better to caver it. Covering your air conditioner will increase the life of the appliance. Use a winterizing cover to wrap your air conditioner as it will keep the appliance in good condition thereby protecting it from outside environment. It is better to measure the size of the air conditioner before buying a cover.

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October 31st, 2013

Tips to Find a Good Mechanic on the Internet

by tocuser4

Finding a good mechanic is a common challenge for most automobile users. Some of them are first buyers, and some people using from far but they are unable to find a good mechanic. In the past it is really a question mark. We need to know through word of mouth by the people who are regular customers for such mechanic. But now this is just a few touchscreen taps or a few mouse clicks away. Here are some tips to work on different sites to find a good mechanic in your area. But remember this is not exact science. Sometimes a highly rated mechanic shop might disappoint. It helps to know the others experience with that shop. So might be a good one for you too.

  • Google: Google has a big database. It can yield plenty of search results. It contains both near to you and from the remaining world. So you need to do extra filtering to find the exact results for you. In the Google search bar type ‘auto repair shops near’ and at the end give you ZIP code. It will display a number of search results. Ignore the advertisements or sponsored advertisements at the top of the page. About half way down the repair shops will appear with their addresses. Google has its own scoring and review system.
  • Message boards: Some enthusiast message boards are particularly dedicated to a car model or car make. These will have forum threads which are by the discussions of the members. So you can find independent repair shops and local dealerships with those threads. Forum members give their recommendation or experiences as they do.
  • Yelp: yelp.com helps people connect to businesses. It also has auto repair reviews. The site is free and has mobile apps and mobile website version. In the Yelp search field type auto repair and enter your or required area ZIP code. Based on highest rate, most reviewed and distance you can filter the results. Your goal should be to find the balance between a substantial reviews and a good rating.

You can spot misleading reviews with yelp algorithm, but sometimes if they undetected, they can slip. So it is not good to trust in one review. Look for the reviews that give users experiences plenty. Sometimes the owner of the mechanic shop will reply to the review.
This response may be either an apology or defense if the review was a negative or a thank you if the review is good. If the reviews are good fine. In case of negative response, the owner apology is there, we have to understand the owner is taking care of reputation for his business.

There are so many other sources in the internet like yellow pages, forums etc. Many consumers are writing the reviews and their experiences with that mechanic shops or dealerships. Check the best and nearest one. read more »

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October 31st, 2013

Solving Your Car’s Brake Squeal

by Edwin Rosenthal

When the brake pad against the caliper piston is not properly fit, the friction material has a problem, or gone, the brakes will squeal. The squealing is the result of high frequency vibration among the brake rotor, the caliper piston and the pad in either of the cases. Some vehicles come with the squeal problems directly from the manufacturer or factory. In these cases manufacturer simply change the brake pad to cure the problem. Because there are different harmonic frequencies for different pads.

  • Steps to solve brake squeal: If your brakes are squealing follow these steps.
  • Check for loose parts: Try to move slightly the calipers, brake pad and other components of the brake. They should not move only just with your hands, because loose parts can vibrate and it results in noise.
  • Replacement of parts: Make sure that in the caliper assembly, the pad does not move. If you find any missing, damaged, and clips or shims are loose replace them.
  • Apply dampening paste: Apply thin layer of the dampening paste between the caliper assembly and the pad. It creates a thin shock absorber to dampen the vibration and the sound. Give plenty of time two to three hours of time if you can, for paste to dry before assemble the brakes. When it is dry, it will become darker color and sticky. If you kept it under the direct sun or used a hair dryer to dry the paste more quicker, wait until the temperature is come down to room temperature.
  • Check brake pads: Sometimes the brake pads will wear. Therefore, check for them if they are worn, replace them. Most of the disc brakes have a wear indicator. If the pad is worn up to a certain point, the indicator makes noise. Check the manual or material for suitable brake pads for your vehicle.
  • Organic pad: It can be with or without asbestos. It may not wear resistance of metallic or semi-metallic, may lack of performance and it may quieter. It may not tolerate the heat as much as other pad materials so because more brake fade.
  • Semi-metallic pad: It has organic material and metal particles. It is the best in both less noise and braking ability in the world. It may wear the rotors. It decreases the brake fade and increases the life of the pad. It can also tolerate the repeated hard stopping.
  • Metallic pad: To provide most friction against rotor, different metals are used. At high speeds with minimum wear, it works great for repeated stopping. In the stock rotors, which are not designed for use with metal pads, rotor will wear faster when metallic pads are used.
  • Lubricant materials: Carbon, Graphite, Brass and some other materials can help to reduce the noise, so look at the formula, which is for built into brake pads.
  • Check brake rotor: Check the drum or rotor for grooving, scoring or other wear.
  • If the entire rotor is distorted or warped or wear is excessive, you need to replace the rotors. If the sound is like metallic grind and not squeal, you need to change the rotors. read more »

    October 28th, 2013

    Car Cleaning Tips

    by tocuser4

    Different people use different types of car cleaning methods depending on availability of the material and their previous experience, or as said by their friends. After washing, a car looks good to clean. Here are tips for car washing.

    • Useful tips cleaning the car:
    • Do not wipe or dust the car body with a dry cloth. The dirt or dust particles can can scratch the paint.
    • When you are washing the car with cool water in the direct sunlight, the heated car body contract with the cool water and the paints get cracks and ruined. So do not wash in the direct sunlight. Park in a shade and wash.
    • Wash the car with making schedule and follow it. It will help to clean one by one section clearly without forgetting anything.
    • Close all the windows and sun roof. Spray little at the edges of them and then check for any leakages is there.
    • Start washing from top to bottom. Otherwise, your have to do work more.
    • Cleaning with foam guns helps needs no usage of water with bouquet.
    • Use the commercial car cleaning products only. Other products may harm the paint. Unless you have clear about the personal solution to the car cleaning, do not use it.
    • Use of cotton cloths and the old brushes helps to get into the small corners and can clean them.
    • Use a piece of sponge to rub the car body. It will gently clean the car without damaging the car paint and can clean the dust particulars.
    • The hair conditioner that contains lanolin will give the shiny to your car.
    • If the car stay in rain, keep a cloth at the bottom of the windshield to protect the hood paint, and pour the cola on the over the glass and clean it. It will rid off from the dust.
    • Remember where can dust go store especially in the corners of the car. Clean it properly. And, do not forget the under body of the car.
    • Polish the head lights with window cleaner by rubbing with soft cloth gently.
    • When the windshield wiper blades are dirty and streak the glass, make the solution of one fourth cup household ammonia to one quarter cold water. Lift the blades and wipe with soft cloth or paper on both sides as soaked. Before lowering the blades wipe the blades with dry cloth.
    • Avoid the air drying of the car. Clean with a dry cloth after the washing is completed. Otherwise the water marks will remains on the car exterior after dry.
    • Dry the windows and mirrors first.

    At the regular intervals of washing car a coat of wax or sealer. It gives the best protection because it binds with the paint.
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