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  • Find A Handyman

    By admin | March 20, 2008

    We have all tried to find a handyman to fix our homes. You struggle with finding a honest and fair handyman to handle those repairs, this is the hard part. A handyman does not have to be a person who lacks knowledge and or insurance. Years back a handyman was generally an older man who just had experience in many areas of house repair from his own personal experience. Now days you have highly skilled handyman/contractors that can cover from your smallest to largest projects, that is if your lucky enough to find this type of company.

    The new breed of handyman company is coming about out of need. Many people are now staying in their homes so they need them fixed or repaired. The down side of all this is the popping up of all the screening services and handyman franchises that charge an arm and a leg to cover their high over heads and and advertising. You see these large franchise companies just let anyone buy in as long as they have the money to buy their franchise. You often don t get a true skilled handyman/contractor. You get a person who was hired by the new franchise owner/operator. So, you get the under skilled and possible under paid laborer of the handyman franchise owner.

    They will typically have many ads and fancy trucks and great looking color matching uniforms for their under paid help. This will get them noticed/seen so many will hire them just due to their huge advertising budgets, not high quality work and reasonable pricing. So, you say, yeah your right. What do I do, to find what I think is a good handyman/contractor? I just don t want people getting sucked into the “all that glitters is not gold” problem. People think just because a company has big fancy ads and highly decal-ed trucks, they have to be good. Many people fall for this everyday.

    How to find a good handyman is not that hard, just see beyond all the glitter. A good handyman/contractor can be found from friends and family. Ask others who they have used and don t be afraid to ask what kind of jobs these other handyman did and for how much. Did they show up on time? Did they finish in a reasonable time? Where did they find them? These questions will be very helpful to you. When people give a response of “ok or they did the job” in short or brief answers odds are they were not that pleased. Some people even get upset because they had such a bad experience with a handyman/contractor they will not say much about it at all.

    Look for handyman/contractors with good word or mouth advertising. The small handyman companies will typically have nice small adds in business directories in some major papers and even your small community newspaper. The ads that are big and have pictures costs the company a lot of money, guess who really pays for that ad, you! It may have got your attention, but you will pay more. A short and to the point ad will be where you want to look. Then just call a few and see if they can help you with your needs. If you are lucky enough to find a good small handyman company where the owner still answers the phone, you know that you are on the right track.

    Now, if you have the owner ask them a few questions. Look for people who are rooted to the community and have been part of your community for many years, even a life time. These are very important questions. How many years in business and what back ground or certifications, do they have? If you are in the greater Milwaukee area or surrounding areas please, give me an e-mail and maybe I can help you with your handyman/contractor needs. Please also go to my free sites and there are many free articles to help with your homes needs. You can also leave a question or comment there. I try to get back to people ASAP. Many people and many home repairs and home problems.

    Remember Safety First.

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    Proper Attic Ventilation Is Key For A Comfortable Home

    By admin | March 19, 2008

    Why do I need proper attic ventilation?

    Attics can reach a stifling 165 degrees in the Midwest summers and even higher temperatures in the south. Ventilation exhausts this hot air to the outside and serves to keep the home more comfortable. Also, ventilation helps to protect other parts of the structure such as roof framing and sheeting.

    I ve found that standard passive ventilation like ridge vents and punched aluminum soffit vents do not work well. I ve cut into enough roofs and felt the hot air rush out.

    What about insulation?

    Insulation prevents the conduction of heat from warmer to cooler areas.
    The thicker the insulation, the longer it takes to equalize the temperature on both sides. In a 150 degree attic with a 70 degree second floor, the insulation will be somewhere between this.
    At night as the attic begins to cool, the insulation will hold the heat and therefore will even be hotter that the attic air.

    Ductwork in attic?

    If you have a 2 story house, odds are you have ductwork somewhere in your attic buried beneath the insulation.

    If your air conditioning is properly tuned, there will be a 20 degree drop against the A-coil. Meaning if the air returning to the blower compartment is 72 degrees then the air above the coil should be 52. Just a side note: having a 20 degree drop doesn t mean your system is dialed in, but not having the drop confirms it. Losing just 5 degrees of heat from the plenum (top of furnace) to the upstairs vents cuts your effective capacity 25%. The hotter the attic means the larger amount of temperature loss, leaving the insulation even hotter. A 12 degree temperature loss is not uncommon, meaning a loss of 60% of capacity.

    Here is a typical scenario: The home empties out in the morning and the thermostat raises up to 80 degrees. As it gets warmer throughout the day the attic gets hotter and the insulation gets even more so. At 430pm, the thermostat is set to drop the temperature to 70 degrees. It is 77 degrees in the house, meaning that the discharge temperature at the coil is 57 degrees. And because your a/c is probably not tuned correctly, that 57 degree air might be 61 degrees when it hits the hot duct in the attic and could be 71 degrees at the vent, leaving your poor a/c to run constantly in a futile attempt to cool the house.

    Though its cooling off outside, your left fuming inside because your house won t cool off for several more hours.

    What s the Solution?

    The solution is better ventilation, specifically, mechanical ventilation. Solar powered fans do not work. They simply don t move enough air around, possibly cutting the temperature by 5 degrees, but it won t be enough for you to notice.

    A quality fan that is installed correctly should have at least a 1500 cfm rating. The fan should be installed in a gable wall preferably with a vent in an opposite wall. Thermostat controls in the attic will turn on the fan whenever the attic is above 90 degrees and the attic is hotter than the outside air. Look carefully at the picture: if the fan is installed like this it will not work and will probably curse me for leading you astray. The vent needs to be sealed completely with aluminum, plywood, ductboard, etc around the fan ducting to be effective.

    Most home owners are unaware that proper attic ventilation is required by most county codes. Here is a website http://www.savenrg.com/code.htm That describes these codes in detail.

    Aaron@onhomecomfort.com
    http://blog.onhomecomfort.com

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    Excellent Types of Bathroom Faucets

    By admin | March 18, 2008

    When you are choosing the types of bathroom faucets that you decide to install, you will be amazed by the number of different options which are available to you. There are a number of different materials, including chrome, stainless steel, brushed nickel or brass. It can be difficult to know exactly which type of bathroom faucet to use. Each different type of faucet has different advantages and disadvantages, this makes them suitable for different purposes. You may want fun faucets to match your fun shower curtain! Your preferences can affect the options that are suitable for you.

    Stainless Steel Faucets

    These are the most common finishes for bathroom faucets, these are very durable and long lasting. Faucets made out of this material are also often cheaper than many other types. There are many benefits to installing stainless steel, the main one being that it won t need cleaning as often as it won t tarnish. Stainless steel fixtures are also very easy to install, however there are a number of disadvantages. Stainless steel can show up fingerprints and can be scratched or scuffed fairly easily.

    Chrome

    Chrome bathroom fixtures are also fairly common, these are made by electroplating brass with a chrome finish. These have a highly polished silver color, they are much shinier than stainless steel fixtures. Chrome faucets are fairly economical, although you can buy these in different designs for more money. Chrome faucets do not corrode, and they are very difficult to scratch. There are problems with chrome faucets, and that s because they can quickly show up water spots. After a long time the chrome can wear off revealing the brass underneath.

    Brass

    Brass bathroom faucets aren t as popular as those made out of stainless steel or chrome. These have been used in bathrooms for a very long period of time. These are made from a single metal which means that there is no plating to wear off. Brass bathroom furniture is often a little more expensive than many other options, and the choices will often be more limited. Brass bathroom faucets can give your bathroom a unique look. There are many problems with brass, if you do not seal it then it can rust over time. It can scratch, and it tarnishes over time it will require regular polishing.

    Brushed Nickel

    This option is the newest idea in decorating bathrooms. These are electroplated over solid brass. Brushed nickel faucets are available in many different styles as they are such a popular option which is suitable for any budget. These bathroom faucets are popular because they do not show fingerprints, scratches or water spots. These are the most expensive forms of bathroom faucets at the moment, and the plating can wear off.

    Jack Blacksmith s web pages can be found on various websites linked to crazy shower curtains. Recording his experience in publications such as http://www.curtains-drapes-coverings.com/shower-curtains.html ,the reviewer expressed his skill on areas relating with fun shower curtains and designer shower curtains.

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    Tips For Buying An Affordable Hot Tub or Portable Spa

    By admin | March 17, 2008

    Most people first try a hot tub either on vacation, at a local health club or perhaps even at a friend s house. Hot tubs can be great for relaxing with friends after a hard day at work. They help the body to unwind and relax in a healthy and totally natural way.

    When initially enquiring about buying a hot tub or spa, many people get shocked when they find out that certain models can cost anywhere between $5000 and $10,000. This puts them out of the reach of a lot of people, but there is a more affordable alternative.

    Portable Spas Can Be Affordable…

    Portable spas can cost as little as $2500 to $3500. When you take into account the sheer enjoyment and health benefits associated with a hot water spa, you begin to see that these affordable hot tubs are worth every penny.

    A portable hot tub or portable spa sits above ground and can be easily installed. They are normally engineered to be one-piece and are molded from highly durable and hardwearing plastic. Many weigh less than 250lbs and can be moved easily by one or two people.

    Certain portable spas also make use of regular 110V power sockets instead of the higher 220V sockets. This means you can simply use an existing socket to power your portable spa. This is a major advantage because 110V sockets are much more common than 220V sockets.

    Taking Care Of Your Spa…

    When buying a portable spa it makes sense to buy a cover for it at the same time. A cover will help keep in the heat and help keep the water clean.

    You should also make sure you know how to keep your hot tub clean. The hot tub should come with a filter but you should also clean the water line on a daily basis to prevent any build up of bacteria, algae or dirt.

    You will also need to check the sanitizer levels. The sanitizer is what will destroy the bacteria and keep algae levels down. You will need to purchase test strips to test it. You should also check the PH level of the water to prevent corrosion or scaling.

    On a weekly basis you will also need to oxidize the water with some good non-chlorine shock This will keep your water looking as clean and sparkling.

    Paul Long writes articles for Aah-Spas. If you are looking for affordable portable hot tubs or portable spas. Please check out the Aah-Spas website for a full range of DreamMaker Spas

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    Spray Foam Insulation Alternative for Building Green

    By admin | March 15, 2008

    Now that everybody wants to build green, there are lots of new insulation options for keeping your house warm. These include spray foam and fiber insulation and non-fiberglass batts. You no longer have to use materials that are potentially dangerous to yourself or the environment. All of these options use recycled materials in an environmentally friendly way. Let s take a look at some of these options.

    - Non-fiberglass Batts use a variety of earth-friendly materials with cotton for natural insulation. Most folks use recycled sheep s wool that is treated so that it is fire resistant. Another material you can use is rock wool, which is naturally resistant to fire, water and noise.

    The other materials used are cotton batts, wool batts, rock or slag wool batts and boards, or any combination of these. It depends on what you want out of your insulating material. If noise reduction is a major concern, you should go with rock wool, which has a natural resistance to noise.

    Installation technique is exactly the same that has been used for many years for installing fiberglass materials. The advantage to using non-fiberglass batts is that they are friendly to the environment.

    - Spray foam insulation is quickly becoming the most popular methods, and this is because it is not only green, but also flexible and relatively easy to install. If you re willing to put a little elbow grease into it, you can do the entire job yourself, and there are kits available for doing just that.

    You simply spray the foam insulation into the cavities of the wall and the material expands by itself to fill the space up completely. The foam is particularly effective because it fills all the little cracks and crevices completely. Most types of spray foam are fire resistant, and are also effective against moisture that can creep into your house and cause mold infestations.

    In some cases, spray foam insulation is used along with other techniques to get the desired result. Because of the foam s flexibility, you can use it together with non-fiberglass batts. While some people can handle their spray foam installation themselves, if you re not much of a handyman/woman, you might want to have a professional do it for you.

    - Spray fiber insulation is where little bits of various materials are blown into your wall cavities to create insulation. The materials are environmentally friendly, and often include mineral wool, cellulose and other materials mixed with water. It is blown into the wall crevices using a special machine designed to pack it in so that there is no air left. The material dries and a special adhesive that is mixed in keeps it all in place.

    The Spray fiber product is also a popular method because it is, by far, the easiest. Water should be mixed into the solution depending on how humid the environment is. The material is sprayed in, and in 24 hours it dries into place. Best of all, all the materials used are recyclable.

    Home insulation has never been this easy or easy on the environment before! Join millions of others who are doing their duty to save the earth by building green.

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    Solar Powered Fountains Make a Good Focal Point

    By admin | March 14, 2008

    Water is vital to our existence, it s simple but it can also look beautiful. Water can be in individual droplets or it can be together in a pool. Some things can float on water, while others can sink. It s amazing to think that such a simple element is so fascinating. From a very young age we all like to stare into water. To make your pond more beautiful you could add a solar powered fountain. These features can make your home more desirable and possibly even add value to your home.

    Which Parts Are Solar Powered?

    Global warning seems like it s going to happen no matter what we do, however every little thing that we change will help to protect our planet for at least a little longer. Many small gadgets such as calculators, watches and even cell phones run on solar power. All of these tiny changes do improve the health of earth.

    Most fountains use electricity to turn a pump in order to move the water. This is why it s so easy to convert these pumps to run on solar power rather than electricity brought from your utility company. Plus it saves you having to connect them to your houses electricity supply.

    Where to Get Them

    Solar powered fountains and pond pumps aren t that difficult to find nowadays. You can buy them from many garden centers, or online shops. If you do have trouble locating any simply do a search for solar powered fountain using your favorite search engine, you ll soon find that there are loads of different types which you can choose from. Looking online is probably the best idea as they offer many different sizes and styles of pump which may be suitable for your needs.

    There are some advantages of buying your fountain from an online shop, the main one being the savings you can make. You will also have the option of buying spare parts should your fountain ever break down.

    Most fountains cost between $100 and $200 depending on how large a fountain you decide to install. You can make up your own system selecting individual parts, or you can buy a ready made kit which just needs to be installed. This equipment can be hidden using moss, wood or rocks. You can buy fountains that have separate solar panels, this means you can locate them so that they are not visible and not located by your pond.

    Solar powered fountain pumps normally consist of a pump, solar panels, and wires. Some kits also include different attachments that can change the shape of the water fountain. If you buy your pump from a reputable company you should also expect a guarantee of some sort. Before you purchase your solar powered fountain make sure you look at the returns policy in case it doesn t work as well as you had hoped.

    Rob Carlton frequently edits detailed papers on news corresponding to hand sharpening drill bits. His observations on how to sharpen drill bits are published on http://www.insidewoodworking.com/sharpening/howtosharpendrillbits.html.

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    The Options Available in Sauna Heaters

    By admin | March 13, 2008

    An important decision you will have to make regarding your sauna will be the type of heater you want. This can affect how the sauna will work for you. There are four main types of heaters used for saunas. These consist of electric, infrared, wood burning, and gas/propane. These can be made of steel, aluminum, or ceramic.

    The electric sauna heaters of today heat quickly but remain cool to the touch. They are available in many colors and are a very convenient way of heating your sauna, but due to rising energy costs, many people do not like to use an electric sauna heater.

    An infrared sauna heater operates at a lower temperature than an electric sauna heater. Infrared heaters convert light directly to heat. This heat warms nearby objects but does not raise the air temperature. Infrared saunas will cause you to perspire more. The heat caused by an infrared heated sauna penetrates deeper into the body tissues than the traditional sauna can. This deep tissue warmth is very helpful for people with stiffness, joint pain, sore muscles, chronic pain and arthritis. The infrared sauna heats up quicker than the traditional sauna and uses less energy. People with respiratory problems can use infrared saunas because the air does not get hot in infrared saunas.

    If your home has gas heat, you may want to choose a gas sauna heater. A gas sauna heater is much move convenient than a wood burning sauna heater but many people may not want to use a gas heater due to rising energy costs.

    A wood burning sauna stove is ideal for a person who has a large source of inexpensive firewood available. Anyone who lives where there is not a dependable source of electricity available may want to choose a wood burning sauna heater. Wood burning heaters are chosen by many people who enjoy the scent and beauty of the wood burning sauna heater. You should check with building codes, regulations, and insurance costs in your area before purchasing a wood burning sauna stove.

    Although electric, infrared, or gas sauna heaters are convenient, you will lose the scent and beauty of the wood burning sauna heater. However, there will be no cutting or finding of wood and the electric, infrared, or gas sauna heaters are much cleaner burning with no ashes to remove. An electric, infrared, or gas sauna heater would be the best option for someone who prefers a cleaner burning heater.

    Bill Doane is a regular contributor to Sauna Review. Find information about Sauna Heaters and Kits.

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    Wood Stove Installation

    By admin | March 11, 2008

    Wood stove installation is a complicated process that must be taken with care and expertise, and I would recommend using a professional to install your wood stove. Safety is key and a wood stove is very safe with the correct installation and care. If you however feel you are capable of installing the wood stove your self there are several vital factors you must consider.

    Location is important, not only for optimized satisfaction but safety as well. It is not advisable to place the wood stove on any flooring that is flammable like wood. There are however appropriate surfaces for the wood stove, like concrete, ceramic tiles, marble and slate, these are more suitable as they don t catch fire easily leaving your house safer. Not only are there safety restrictions on the flooring but also the area the base covers. The wood stove base should cover 8 inches around wood stove with 18 inches n front of doors to reduce chance of surrounding flooring catching fire. Better to be safe than sorry. Around the wood stove there are safety precautions that can be taken with the walls as well. Again gaps of at least 12 inches should left around the wood stove. For further protection non-combustible wall protection can be used as well as a rear heat shield. Protecting the walls is essential as any flammable material within close vicinity of the wood stove is a danger.

    Chimney and stovepipe connection (installation) is again another task in the wood stove installation that needs to be done with care and with some expertise. The chimney is what directs the harmful and unwanted smoke out the house. There are a number of aspects to remember. When installing the stove pipe it should be kept and least 18 inches from anything combustible. To be on the safe side you can protect the stove pip with a heat shield to greatly reduce the chance of a fire. As for the chimney it should be at least 3 feet above the roofs surface, however the taller the better. There is however one thing to remember with wood stove pipes and the chimney, there are several types with several protections so understand what you are dealing with before under going the installation.

    Wood stove installation is a demanding, complicated, highly responsible, time consuming job and unless you really know what you are doing it is advisable to get a professional to install it for you.

    www.woodstovesite.info has been created to give a collection of facts, instructions, advice and general information all based around a wood stove.

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    Taking Your Garage Back

    By admin | March 10, 2008

    Remember when you were able to park your car in the garage? And remember when the garage was simply a place that only the car lived. Now the garage is home to workshops, sports equipment, lawn mowers, extra refrigerators and more.

    So how do you take your garage back?

    Here are a few easy suggestions:

    - Hang shelves and hooks to store things along the walls. Hanging items gets your clutter off the floor and makes items more accessible.

    - Organize your overflow of clutter with utility cabinets or custom garage cabinets.

    - Keep your workshop essentials clean, protected, and close at hand with toolboxes and chests.

    - Use a storage system made especially for small things, or try the old-fashioned method: nail baby food jar lids to a board mounted above your workspace. Screw the jars onto the lids to hold tiny things. Small items can disappear without notice.

    - Get back your garage and expand your space with the purchase of a storage shed or renting storage.

    Garage storage cabinets makes use of the space you have in the vertical plane and helps get your stored items off the floor. Garage storage cabinets have come a long way in the past several years. Custom cabinets come in numerous colors and are clean looking. The cabinets are also built with the kind of quality that lasts a lifetime.

    If you are a do-it-yourselfer, just hanging up items in your garage will make an incredible difference in how much space you gain within your garage. Here a few ways to add more storage:

    - Add shelf space with the use of four lengths of chain and eight hooks. You need a plank, four equal lengths of chain and eight hooks. Fasten one hook to each corner of the plank and one hook to a corresponding spot in the ceiling or beam above, then slip the chains into place.

    - Keep tools organized by hanging them on a pegboard. You ll keep the area tidy if you have a specific location for each tool. Once this is done, paint a silhouette of the tool on the pegboard for other users to have a placement guide.

    - Ladders can be hung from rafters and bikes can be hung from the walls. (However, if you aren t the type to be bothered to lift your bike, see the next suggestion.)

    - Use electric tape or paint to mark off a “reserved parking” space for anything with wheels.

    - Use an old golf bag for long-handled tools such as shovels and rakes, or hang them individually from hooks or grabber holders. If the item doesn t have a hole in the handle, screw a cup hook into the tip. (A cup hook is a hook meant to hold a cup. One end is made of a screw, while the other end is shaped in a curve. Screw the screw end into a wall of shelf, and slip the handle of the cup onto the curved end of the hook. This is a standard item that can be found in any hardware department.)

    If all of this sounds like too much work for, there are companies who install custom cabinets in your garage for you. Either way, you will hopefully get your garage back.

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    Metal Tile

    By admin | March 8, 2008

    Metal tiles are becoming quit popular with those who are looking for a special design feel and for a design that is not considered an common tile type they available where ever tiles are sold. Most place that carry tile carry a number of brands and a variety of colors and material if you can not find what you are looking for don t be afraid to ask for help, what you re looking for may not be displayed out front, that does not mean that they do not carry the item you re looking for. Many of the shops employees are knowledgeable about the products they carry and what they sell and are glad to help.

    Does the tile have to be installed by a professional?
    Just about anyone can install them once they learn a few basic steps to doing the job correctly. If you are one of those of us who likes to do it your self it is defiantly something you will be able to do. There are also many professional out there that would be glad to take on the installation of your metal tiles. The bottom line is that you will have to decide if you want to install your metal ceiling tiles or do you want to hire a professional to do the job for you.

    How affordable are they?
    In today s market metal tile is very affordable however as with any product you can definitely find some very expensive designs and patterns. You will find that on a whole metal ceiling tile is an affordable choice to give your project the look you want with out breaking the bank. Set a reasonable budget for your project and you should be able to find some tile to fit your budget.

    Does metal tile come in more than one color?
    These tiles come in a vast array of colors and styles and also are made from different metals from real iron base metal to copper and brass. Recycled metal tiles add a versatile and textural design element to your kitchen or bathroom wall or floor designs along with being good for the environment. If you want a certain color I am confident that you will be able to find the color you are after without having to look too far. Keep in mind that when using a colored tile you want to consider the color of the walls in that room so you do not over load you ceiling with a color that just is to much for the room or that you end up with too much of one color.

    Remember these tiles are color full, unique, easy to install, and give you a look that many will be envious of. They are long lasting and easy to care for. Show when you are shopping for tile give them a look.

    You can find more information on Tile ,Tile installation and Tile product. You will also find where you can purchase Tiles that are Reasonably priced on the Internet.

    RR Smith
    Floor Tile Blog - http://floor-tile-information.blogspot.com/
    Floor Tile Shop http://www.floor-tile-shop.com/

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