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Category Archives: Home Improvement

Tips to Cleaning Gutters

Cleaning gutters is important to prevent any leak. Certain tools and items are needed to clean the gutters with air. Following are given the list of tools and items required to clean gutter with air.

– Bucket
– Gloves
– Safety goggle
– Ladder
– Hardhat
– Garden hose
– Safety line
– Leaf blower


Some simple steps are given here to help the homeowners to clean their rain gutters with air.

1. Wear safety goggles, gloves and hardhat before starting your work.

2. Set up a ladder against the house reaching the top of the roof. You need a partner to hold the ladder firm while you work on the top. Ask your partner to wear hardhat, gloves and safety eyes goggles to prevent any injury.

3. You need a leaf blower. There are chances that it might slip from your hand, so to prevent it from falling down secure it with a ladder with a safety line. You also need a bucket secured to a ladder.

4. Now secure yourself with a safety harness to the chimney. Turn on the leaf blower while standing on the roof to blow the leaves, dirt and all sort of debris out of the gutter. After blowing, take the tiny leaves and dirt out with hand and put them in a bucket.

5. Take a garden hose and spray water into the gutter with some pressure to remove the rest of the dirt, leaves and other obstructive items. Make sure that the water is flowing through the gutter as well as downspout. If water is not flowing freely through downspout, clean them with drain snake. Again check the water flow.

Points to Remember

– Frequently clean the gutters in spring and fall season.
– You can install screen gutters to prevent the accumulation of leaves or other debris in the gutter.
– If air clean is not possible, use any other method to clean the gutters.


Guide to Fix Plastic Rain Gutters

Required Items

– Plastic gutter kit
– Fine-toothed
– Electric screwdriver
– Chalk line
– Tape measure
– 2 ladders
– Carpenter’s level
– Saw
– Pencil
– Wood screws


1. You first need to mark the important points to fix the gutter and its brackets. Place the carpenter’s level near the corner of the roof in such a way that it should extend about 6 inches over the edge. Take a gutter bracket and place it against the flat strip or fascia. The top of the bracket must touch the bottom of the level. Take a pencil and install the fixing holes of the bracket. Similarly mark the holes on the other corner of the roof section.

2. Draw a line joining the two marked points. The line should be straight. Now measure the length of the roof section and draw another line in such a way that lowers it by 1/6 inch after every 10 feet of length.

3. Install the corner pieces on each side of the roof section with the help of provided screws and brackets.

4. Support brackets would be installed after every 36 inches in the direction of the length of the roof section.

5. Take an appropriate measurement about the length of the section between the corner pieces. This length will help to cut the exact length of the gutter to be installed between the two sections. Generally, gutters come in standard size of 10 feet sections. So you might have to cut the corner pieces of gutter to adjust them into the sections.

6. Install the gutters in the brackets. Now is the time to attach the end caps. In plastic gutters mostly the end caps tuck into the place without any tool.

7. Now connect an elbow to the corner of the section. This will help to attach the downspout with it. Attach a small piece of downspout (about 2 feet in length) that will go under the eaves. Later measure the length from top to bottom to have a proper length downspout. Install a downspout of entire length. To give it a support install brackets evenly placed against the wall. Install another elbow on the bottom corner of the downspout.

8. With this elbow attach a piece of downspout of about 5 feet length. This will drain the water away from the foundation of your home.

9. For each length of the roof, repeat the same process to install the plastic gutter.


– You cannot install plastic gutter alone. You need a partner to help you. So arrange a partner for you before begin you work.


Tips to Installing a Shower

The first point to bear in mind is that a shower is made of several parts – the hot water supply system, the cubicle that you stand in, the door, the tray that collects the used water and sends it down the drain, the shower head that emits the water and directs if over your body, and such items as the shower rail, curtains and hooks.

First, let’s look at the hot water supply system of which there are three main types – electric showers, mixer showers, and power showers. Each type functions differently and has its own requirements for installation.

An electric shower is the simplest and most popular. It consists of a heater unit which draws cold water from your main supply, heats it up and passes it out through the shower head. Installing an electric shower is a simple procedure, you just need to install the shower unit in your bathroom, hook it up to your water supply and install the electrical wiring.

However, first you have to determine if your site fulfills all the requirements as regards the water and electricity supply. First, there’s the matter of water pressure. Electric showers require a minimum running pressure requirement of one bar and static pressure requirement of ten bars. They also need a flowing rate of water of eight litres per minute and to connect to the main water supply, a pipe diameter of 15mm width is required. You can select power ratings from 7-5 KW to 10.0 KW. The higher the rating, the higher the flow.

Mixer showers work by mixing existing hot and cold water in a special valve before it gets to the shower head. You can get these types for both high and low pressure water supplies, and they can be either surface or flush mounted. In the former, the piping is installed on top of your existing surface and in the latter, you can see the valve but the pipework is hidden.

With mixer showers, both hot and cold water should come from a supply of the same pressure. If this is not the case, then a pressure balanced mixer valve can be put in to achieve the desired state.

One downside to using mixer showers is that they draw water from the same pipes as other household appliances. This means that should you flush the toilet or turn on a tap, the flow of water to the shower will be affected. This is more likely if you have a low pressure water supply.

One danger resulting from this is that if cold water is drawn off elsewhere, the water flowing out of the shower could get excessively hot. There are two ways to solve this problem. The first is to create an independent water supply for your mixer shower, and the second is to use thermostatic mixer showers. These contain a pre-set thermostat that can sense a major change in temperature and work to correct it.

Power showers are mixer showers with built in pumps to boost the flow from the shower head. These are only suitable for low pressure, tank-fed shower systems. Some restrictions apply. For one thing you need a dedicated hot and cold supply. Also, the cold water tank should be at least 50 gallons if it supplies many outlets. If used only for the shower, then 25 gallon tank is possible.

Having decided on your type of shower, you now have to consider the rules and regulations governing the installation of bathroom fixtures, plumbing and electrical devices. These change from time to time so in order to choose your system and carry out your shower installation, you’ll need to hire a qualified tradesman who’s up to date with these matters.

Once you’ve decided on your shower system, you can choose the other items such as shower head, cubicle, door and tray to suit the size and ambience of your bathroom.

Following a shower installation, you’ll be able to have a fast and hygienic hot wash whenever you want and at the lowest costs. To find the best deals in showers, visit the web sites of online vendors to find the type and style to fit your bathroom. Then get ready for a comforting and relaxing hot shower anytime.


Steps to Replace Shower Drain

Required Items

– ABS cement
– Plumber’s putty
– Basket wrench
– Utility knife
– Slip coupling
– PVC pipe
– Shower drain
– Philips screwdriver
– Handsaw


1. Before begin, block the water supply line, which supply water to the shower.

2. Locate the drain pipes. You might have to tear off the flooring to uncover the pipes and to have better access to them. If you have access from below, you can work from below the bathroom. It depends on the position of the pipes.

3. Take a hacksaw and cut the part of the drain pipe that is leak or damage. In addition to this, you need to cut along the pipe further to remove this entire part of the pipe.

4. Take the drain away by cutting the silicone putty holding the drain with utility knife. Now open the drain cover by unfastening the screws with the help of Philips screwdriver. After removing the cover, take a basket wrench and take the drain away by turning the wrench anti-clockwise.

5. Insert the new drain into the specific place. Secure the new drain with plumber’s putty.

6. Using the ABS cement, attach the PVC pipe to the new drain. ABS cement is a substance used to give the waterproof connection to the pipe and drain. You can inspect the pipe as well for any possible leaks. Replace the pipe if you notice any leakage in the pipe. If no leak spotted, then use the same pipe.

7. Connect the end of the existing pipe with the end of the new installed pipe. To connect the old and the new pipes you need to have a slip coupling of exactly the same size of pipes.

8. To secure the coupling, add glue on its both sides and put pipes into it.

9. Allow the putty to dry for many hours. Till then don’t use the shower.

Tips and Precautions

– The best time to replace the drain is night time. Install the new drain and it will be ready for use till morning.
– In case you are having problem in replacing the drain, contact a plumber to do a repair work for you.


Ways to Pick The Right Table Lamps

Lamp Size

First and foremost is the size. You need to settle on the right size of the lamp and the place you want to lay them. If you are placing it in your bedroom, a medium sized table lamp is perfect. Oversized lamp poses danger of falling from the small table beside your bed. And for the use of study room table or outdoor table; and if it is a small table; a candlestick lamp can be the apposite choice. If you want to place it in the far end of your living room, it is fine to get a bulky ginger jar type lamp.

Lamp Style

The style of the lamp is very, very important. If you select a lamp style which does not match up with the interior style, it is going to ruin your entire interior decoration theme. For instance, if you have furnished your home in Victorian style, it is appropriate to use exquisite and ornamental lamps like crystal, shiny brass table lamps instead of going for modern trendy table lamps. A modern swing-arm lamp will be perfect choice for the high-tech interior decoration style. Likewise, there are many different styles of lamps which back up your classic, traditional, or modern interior decorating style.

Lamp Material

For a traditional interior design, concord lamps featuring all resin construction with a heavy weighted base will be a perfect choice. The bronze and honey shades are going to give a natural and flawless look. These lamps can be used both in outdoors and indoors. If you wish to give a trendy look to your bedroom, a rectangular lamp with black texture and a metal base finish would be appropriate. And for a Victorian styled bedroom, antique bronze finish lamps can be the best suitable accessory. If you are going for an outdoor table lamp, Java table lamp with heavy weighted bases and a two level dimming switch can be a great choice. This lamp helps to enhance your outdoor living area. They have unbreakable opal poly carbonate waterproof light bulb enclosure which allows the use of a standard 100 watt light bulb. You get them in antique honey wicker shade and bronze shades.


Uses of Solar Power for Homes

Solar energy can be used at homes for serving various purposes. They are primarily used for running small, low-power appliances like radios, lightings, gadgets, small water pumps, and even children’s toys. Solar power can also be stored in batteries and used for lighting the house during an episode of power failure. And of course, solar power is increasingly being used for heating homes during winter.

How Home Solar Power Systems Work?

To use solar power for homes, photovoltaic (PV) panels are attached to the roof of a house such that their expanded surfaces face south for houses located in the northern hemisphere. For those in the southern hemisphere, the panels should face north to gather maximum solar energy.

The average power production of a solar cell is about 11 to 22 watt per square foot. The solar energy, when received by the panels, generates electric current in them. This current is stored in a large battery bank that is connected to the PV array through a charger controller. The DC current stored in the battery is converted to AC current (used in homes) by a DC-AC inverter for running home various appliances.

Odds against Using Solar Power for Homes

The major disadvantage that hampers the use of solar power for homes is their high cost of purchase and installation. Depending on the size of the home and the particular solar power system, it costs an average of $20,000 to $40,000 for installing a solar power system at home.

The high costs of setting up solar panels at home are due to the requirement of using pure silicon in their manufacture. Recently, however, solar-grade silicon has been derived from metallurgical silicon.

This innovation is expected to reduce the costs of installing solar power systems at home to about one-third of the current costs. Besides high costs, solar panels are not very useful in areas of little sunshine and also on cloudy days as well as after sunset.


Things to Consider about Custom Garage Storage

The first thing to consider before purchasing your custom garage storage is what materials to use. The two main ones to consider are metal and wood. Metal is more expensive than wood, but is far more durable especially when you consider that the cabinets will be outside. Wood however is a great option if you are able to get the cabinets off the ground and keep them dry. Personally I would recommend going with metal as they will last longer and do more to increase the resale value on your home.

In addition to the cabinets you will need to look at wall hangs. You can use a variety of things from simple hooks to complex hanging systems. Depending on what your needs are either option can work. I recommend getting something that is expandable so as the amount of tools you need to store grows you are able to keep up.

Rakes, shovels, golf clubs, baseball bats and all manner of things can be safely and neatly put away using a good hanging system. In addition you will not have to go digging around to find items that you are looking for. A hanging system is an often overlooked but important part of your custom garage storage.

Once you have planned the raw materials of what you want to get you now need to sit down and realistically think about how much storage you need. This is probably the most important part of the custom garage storage design that you are coming up with.

You want to get enough storage to hold are your stuff, but not so much that it is overkill. I would recommend getting a little bit more than you think you need so that you are able to expand easily as time goes by.

As you can see there are several different things that you need to consider before beginning you quest to set up your custom garage storage. Follow the steps outlined above and you will be hanging cabinets and rakes in no time. Thanks for reading and hopefully all of this will help you on your way.


Guide to Hanging Lamp Shade

First, determine how much brightness you need in the room. Some hanging lamp shades are made with double lining or thicker which tend to cover more light. These can be made from a variety of materials such as cloth, silk, wood or glass. Wood and glass are not as flexible in terms of dimming but you may ask manufacturers to add a second layer or two if you choose cloth. Glass may also be colored to have the right brightness and a style that matches.

Identify the best shape that provides the right luminescence to the area. Standard hanging lamp shades usually have a wider lower rim compared to the top so light spreads out evenly. If you intend to put some mood in the atmosphere, there are other shapes as well such as a wider top rim that tapers into a narrower bottom. A plug in hanging lamp can also come with a globular shape, square and other geometric figures. The shape is basically determined by the hanging lamp shade and light will be projected accordingly as well.

Maintain the Shade

A hanging lamp shade can accumulate more dust and is more prone to the elements compared to others located on top of desks and walls. You need to maintain it well by dusting regularly at least once or twice a week. If there are metal, wood or glass components in the model, polish or wax it thoroughly at least once a month.

Ensure that the shade is securely attached to the frame and that there are no signs of deterioration, molds or rust. Cloth, silk and other fabrics can be brushed or washed with soap and water. Others may require dry or steam cleaning to avoid damage.

When ordering a product, ask the manufacturer if they would consider selling you more than one hanging lamp shade. Having one or two extra pieces will prolong the lifespan of your piece. You can choose to replace the shade after several months or once a year. Since most models are limited and sold only over a period of time, finalize a shipping agreement with the distributor or manufacturer.


Tips to Clean Wood Floors

Required Items

– Cider vinegar or white vinegar
– Water
– Broom or vacuum cleaner
– Soft, absorbent cloths or mops
– Natural soap (olive oil soap)


1. Regular cleaning and vacuuming is necessary to keep your wood floor clean. Place a door mat outside the door and ask people to come in after cleaning their shoes on a door mat. If possible ask them to come in bare footed and removing shoes at the door.

2. Any kind of liquid or water is not good for wood floor. So, take care not to spill any liquid or water on the wood floor to avoid damage to it. If you get any spills of liquid wipe it immediately with soft absorbent cloth or paper towel.

3. A mixture of natural soap (olive oil soap) and water is the best option to clean and wash the unfinished wood floor. Always use the soft cloth to wash or clean the wood floors. Avoid any sort of puddles on the floor surface. Cider vinegar and water solution is another good way to wash the unfinished wood floors.

4. In case you have a finish on your floor, inspect which type of finish has you. It can be wax finish or a varnished, lacquered or polyurethane finished floor. If a small drop of water results in a whitish spot on the floor that means you have a wax finish. Otherwise you can have any of the other floor finish.

5. Floor with wax finish can simply clean with clean water and soft cloth. You can also apply wax on the damaged tattered area.

6. For floors have finishes other than wax, you can use 1/4 cup of white vinegar mixed in a quart of water with soft cloth. Soak the cloth with the solution and squeeze it as much as you can. Use it on the floor to clean the surface. This solution can also be used on unfinished wood floors. But you need to dry it as soon as you finished cleaning.


– To avoid any scratches and damage to floor, do not drag furniture or other heavy items on the floor. You can use any cloths or towels wrap against each leg or corner to shift it from one area to another.


First Time Home Owner Tips on Home Improvement

1. Before you embark on any home improvement or renovation program, confirm all taxes are paid and all regulations complied with. Dereliction to do so is tempting trouble in the future.

2. You may require spending money to save money. Buying more effective electrical appliances and upgrading your heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems may cost you initially, but you will end up saving much more in the long term.

3. One of the least precious yet more effective ways to upgrade your home and elevate its appearance is by wallpapering. A modern coat of paint can also do wonders.

4. Laying new carpets can significantly improve the living place, as can appropriate practise of correct furniture.\

5. If you place a premium on privacy, soundproofing your rooms is a great way of achieving it. If you need to modify one of the rooms into a mini-theater, use of acoustic foam to upgrade its acoustics is recommended.

6. With global warming being on every ones lips, you can do your bit by using renewable power from the sun and wind. Installing solar panels and wind turbines can assist you accomplish that.

7. Home improvements can add notable value to your house should you wish to sell it later. Renovations to kitchens and bathrooms are especially recommended.

8. For home improvements outside the house, beautifying gardens, laying flagstone patios, repairing fences, etc. are recommended.

Remember that home improvement is not compulsory. If it had been so, it would have been called home repair. At the same time, home betterment is not something you can ignore if you desire to live in total comfort and perceive the value of your residence appreciate in big increments.