Make Small Room More Spacious

A room in your home becomes a quiet refuge  from the bustle of everyday life. However, if the room is
small, decorating it with dark-colored pieces of furniture  and painting or wallpapering the walls dark might not be  the best step. This is because dark colors tend to  constrict space — a small room becomes even smaller.  Thus, that feeling of pleasant seclusion can become so  strong that it will eventually give you a feeling of  confinement. That room in your home then becomes a place  you would rather escape from rather than relax into.

So what is the best way to decorate a small room? Decorate  the small room using bright, light colors. Bright and  light colors are meant to create the illusion of space.  If your furniture pieces are dark-colored, use light  colors with rugs or carpets, and wallpaper or paint.  White or light-colored walls can make a room seem much  more spacious than dark-colored walls.

Don’t think that you’re limited to white or beige. There  are several light colors to choose from — pale turquoise,  pale goldenrod, wheat, light pink, lavender, ghost white,  mint cream, ivory, linen, bisque…The list could go on.  Go to your local library for books on do-it-yourself  interior decorating or visit Home Depot to see a range of  paint colors you can choose from. You’re sure to find a  color that suits your personality and make that small  room look much more spacious.

Build A Wood Fence

Materials Needed:

Treatment preservative

Concrete

4×4 posts 8 feet in length.

2×4 for railing in either 8 or 16 feet in length

1×6 or 1×8 fence boards (your preference)

3 1/2″ galvanized nails

2 1/2″ flat head galvanized nails

Hardware for gate (hinges and latch)

Before you get started you must first figure out your fence line. This will help you calculate the materials needed to build your fence. When determining your fence line the best thing to do is talk to your neighbors. If you’re in disagreement you can look for the property survey markers or if all else fails have your property surveyed. It’s best to keep the entire fence on your property. Once you know the fence line mark it with a string line. Using stakes hammered into the ground run the line 2 feet past each end of the fence line. Secure the string tightly to the stakes.

Next you need to treat your posts by following the manufacturers recommendations. I would suggest treatment at least 8 inches above ground level. You can also purchase posts that are pre-treated from your lumber store if you wish.

Measure your post holes 8 feet apart. I wouldn’t recommend any further apart as through time your fence may sag or lean. Dig the holes about 28 inches deep. Make sure all posts are of equal distance apart. It’s now time to prepare your concrete for setting the posts. Mix your concrete with 1 part cement, 2 parts sand and 3 parts gravel. Add water and mix to a thick consistency but at the same time wet enough to pour all the way around the posts. Fill each hole 6 inches deep. Now it’s time to place the posts in every hole. Use a level to make sure each post is plumb and barely touching the string. Finish filling each hole to about 2 inches below ground level. Double check each post making sure it’s plumb.

After the posts have set it’s time to add the railings. Make sure to set the bottom rail 8 inches above ground and be careful to have both ends the same height from the ground. Fasten the top rails by measuring from the bottom rail up to the desired position. Finally attach the middle rail central between the bottom and top rails.

Before you nail the boards to the railings you might want to consider staining or painting them first as it is easier than doing this after they’ve been fastened. If you decide to go this route you should also stain or paint the posts and rails prior to attaching the boards. Using a spacer to maintain equal gaps you can begin nailing the boards to the rails, using 2 of the 2 1/2 inch nails hammered on each rail. Use a level to make sure the boards are vertically plumb.

Now that your fence is up you probably want a gate. First you need to determine the size of the gate. I would recommend a gate no less than 3 feet wide. You should build a frame with the 2×4’s overlapping and attach a middle rail for durability and strength. To allow room for the hinges and latch make sure the gate frame is built allowing 1 inch narrower between the gate posts. Next attach the fence boards and finally install the hinges and latch.

Bathroom Plumbing

Every drain in your home plumbing system should have a trap installed as part of the line. This is simply a curved section of pipe that “traps” water in it. If you look under your sink you should see an example of a trap. This will usually be a straight portion of pipe from the sink connected to a curved section that dips down and then back up before connecting to another horizontal section where the water exits. If you were to look inside your wall you would see a “T” section where the pipe goes down to your septic/sewer and up to an external vent.

The purpose of the trap is not to capture jewelry or other object dropped down the drain as many think but to hold water to prevent sewer/septic gas (and odor) from entering your bathroom. Every time you use the sink, shower, or tub some water collects in the trap blocking the gases and odor. If a component of your bathroom is not used frequently (i.e, the bath in a guest bathroom) then the water can evaporate and allow some gases to escape back into the bathroom. The good news is that this is very simple to prevent and/or fix. The solution: pour water down the drain. If you keep the trap full of water by running the water periodically you should not have any problems with odor. If this was the cause of your problem then the odor should dissipate in a short period of time once there is water in the trap.

Another possible cause for odor is the build up of slime, mold, hair, etc in the tailpiece (the portion of pipe that comes out the bottom of your sink) or overflow of your sink. The popup stopper in many bathroom sinks and tubs can also build up this “gunk”. Use a small flashlight to check and see if you do have any buildup. If you do, clean the buildup out (remember to use a cleaner that is safe for your sewer or septic system) and see if that addresses your odor problem.

DIY Projects To Get You Ready for Summer

The summertime can be a great opportunity to spend the bulk of your time outdoors. From solitary relaxation to fun backyard parties, there are many reasons to invest in the exterior space of your home. Here are some great projects that can take you through this summer and the next.

New Deck

Every outdoor area needs a solid surface for seating. A deck acts as a bridge between your home and your yard, and it’s a great place to set up dining sets or lounge chairs. If the foundation of your home is set higher, an elevated deck may be necessary. The different levels between the top of your deck and the ground can also create visual appeal.

Landscaping

If you’ve got a green thumb, this may be a fantastic opportunity to use it. Landscaping your backyard lets you choose the flowers you find the most aesthetically pleasing. You might also choose herb plants, so you always have the spices you need on hand.

Tending your garden can become an outlet to help you relax from some of life’s biggest stresses. Even if you’ve never gardened before, it can a worthwhile hobby to try out.

Outdoor Kitchen

An outdoor kitchen might seem like a big undertaking, but it doesn’t have to be. Find a dedicated spot on your patio and install some cabinetry with countertops. You can set up your gas grill to serve as your cook surface. A sink is another great addition, but the plumbing involved may require you to call in an expert for help.

Having the best backyard parties can be achieved with the right upgrades to your outdoor space. These are projects that you can tackle yourself without too much of a struggle, and you won’t believe the difference that each one can make. Start your summer off right with an exterior project you can really throw yourself into.

What To Look for in a Professional Window Cleaning Company

Florida is known for its sunny beaches, theme parks and cultural influences. It’s also known for its humidity, especially along the coast. Humidity and high precipitation can cause the windows in your home or business to look water-stained and cloudy, especially during the wet season (from June to October). Cleaning your own windows can not only be time-consuming and tiring, but it can also be dangerous. If you’d rather have professionals get the job done quickly and safely, here are a few things you should look for when hiring someone to provide window cleaning Ponte Vedra Beach FL services.

Fair Pricing

It’s wise to get price quotes from a few different companies before selecting one to clean your windows. While it’s important to compare quotes and get a fair deal, it’s also important to make sure you’re getting high-quality work for the price.

Experience

When it comes to obtaining the pristine, clear windows you want, experience can’t be overemphasized. Anyone can claim to be a great window washer, but unless they have experience to back up their claims, you probably want to move on.

Proper Licensing and Insurance

The state of Florida requires businesses to be properly licensed and permitted. Before hiring a window washing company, ask to see applicable licensing information. You may also want to ask about the company’s insurance policy. At a minimum, a professional window washing company should have liability insurance. This will protect you from being held liable if a window washer falls while cleaning the windows on your home or building.

Honesty and Friendliness

When hiring a company to clean your windows, look for indications of honesty and friendliness. If a company isn’t up-front about pricing or if its employees are stand-offish or unfriendly, keep looking. There are many great, customer-focused companies that will treat you honestly and fairly. Once you find a company you like and trust, you’ll want to stick with it for the long run.

3 Key Steps to Maintaining Commercial Refrigerators

Every business has an appliance or technology that is relied on more than another. If these key ingredients malfunction so does the rest of operations, costing time and money. For companies that rely heavily upon refrigeration units, such breakdowns can also result in the loss of inventory that spoils or thaws due to the lack of cooling. Through proactive measures such as refrigeration service in Minneapolis, and the following three tips for maintaining your commercial cooling units, business owners can reduce risk and buy peace of mind.

1.    Monitor Gaskets

Each time your refrigeration units are closed, they are sealed shut by gaskets that keep air from getting in and out. Over time, these seals may deteriorate or become damaged, compromising their effectiveness. Make it habit to inspect these areas regularly so they can be replaced or repaired promptly, preserving your inventory and saving energy costs.

2.    Clean the Vents

Anyone who has looked behind a refrigerator knows how much debris and lint can collect on the coils and vents. As you establish a cleaning schedule for your equipment, make sure to include a thorough wipedown and vacuum of these areas so they can operate at optimal performance. These areas are responsible for controlling temperature and work best when they can breathe.

3.    Evaluate Automatic Systems

It is handy to have doors close automatically, but if they are not performing as they should your refrigeration units cannot keep cool. Add these features to the maintenance checklist and have them tested often for proper function. It is also wise to maintain a specific load size in each cooling unit, so they are not overfilled which could cause items to interfere with closures.

Though having a trusted refrigeration professional is crucial to the success of your business, there are simple measures you can do yourself that will make everyone happier.

DIY Home Security Projects

Install sturdy door and window locks

Each exterior door should have a dead bolt lock installed on it. The dead bolt must have at a minimum of 5 levers inside the lock and should be a double cylinder. They are more difficult of a lock difficult to pick.

The sliding glass doors are another favorite of intruders. The doors can be easily pushed off of the track. Patio bolts provide a good defense especially paired with a deadlocking handle.

Check the lighting around your home

How well is your home illuminated at night? Are the doors and windows dark or well lit? Motion activated lights are a great way to illuminate the outside of your home without having to leave the light on all night long.

Check the shrubs and bushes around your home

Have the bushes grown up so tall that you can not see the window from the street? If so, it is time to break out the hedge clippers and trim back the bushes. Tall bushes are a great place for a bugler to hide in and work on breaking into your home.

Add home security devices

If you already have a home security system installed, take an inventory of the accessories. There are a lot of home security accessories, such as sirens, strobe lights, motion detectors, surveillance cameras, and glass break detectors that can be added to your security system.

A commonly overlooked accessory category is fire and smoke detection. Consider adding smoke, heat and carbon dioxide detectors to your home security system.

A secure and locking mailbox

Why do you need one? Simple, two words identity theft. Around the first and fifteenth of every month people pay their bills. Their mail boxes are filled with credit card statements, utility bills and a host of other bills. For an identity theft, this is great information to use to steal your identity.

Video cameras

Video cameras have come down in price and the features that you can get in a camera are astounding. For the outside of you home invest in night vision video cameras that use infrared emitters to ‘light’ up the area they are watching.

Coffee Table Plans

Finding those perfect coffee table plans is easy if you know what to look for. First, use a search engine you are comfortable with using such as Google, Yahoo, or MSN. Once you have the search engine open, type in what you are looking for exactly like “coffee table plans” – exactly like that, with the quotes as well. You can also do “free coffee table plans” to find free coffee table plans for your home coffee table needs.

Of course, you will come up with a lot of “hits” for your search. Sifting through what you want or need is a little more complicated. First, you want to steer away from sites that are going to offer you free coffee table plans at a price. This is obviously a rouge and not free at all. Be on the lookout for such things and you will get what you want in no time at all.

Once you find some free coffee table plans, you should carefully examine those plans. Can you make all of those fancy cuts and such? Do you have the proper tools available for your coffee table? Do you have everything needed or can you get the needed materials? All of these questions should be examined before you decide to get busy with those free coffee table plans.

Whether you want a fancy coffee table of a basic coffee table, there are bound to be coffee table plans available if you look. Just find a couple you like and envision what that one will look like in your room. If you don’t think it will be a match, keep searching. Usually, you can find more than one free plans at any given website.

Sometimes, you will actually be able to create your own coffee table via an online program. Then, you will see a virtual image of the complete coffee table. Once you have the dream coffee table, you get a shopping list of exactly what is needed. I have really enjoyed the creation process more than I thought I would.

Obviously, not everyone is talented when it comes to creating masterpieces out of wood. It may be a good idea to hire a professional if you are not sure how to create a coffee table or if you have difficulty following coffee table plans. There are carpenters that will take the plan and create the coffee table for you. These can be hired for a good rate in most places.

About Basement Finishing

You will find that doing a basement is not really expensive as there are no outer walls to build. All you have to do is finish the inside and the best part is you can take your time building it as it is not a crucial part of your living quarters. You can do this work yourself and if you’re not sure of what you are doing you will find all kinds of advice as close as the internet.

Before you start you should have your plans in place as to what you’re going to do with your basement. This means considering the state of your basement and what type of living space you have in mind. You may find that you will have to move some things such as water heaters, furnace or oil storage tanks or maybe your design can fit around these things. This is also the time to check your basement walls for any leaks that you may have. This is very important for the future use of your basement. It would probably be a good idea to seal all of your walls before you start building finishing your basement just to be on the safe side. It could save you a lot of problems in the future. You don’t want to put all this work into your basement and find out you have a leak later.

Infrared Sauna DIY

Before I go into explanations I want to warn you about safety. Building a sauna yourself may involve doing some electrical wiring. Infrared heaters used in a sauna usually have high power requirements – as much as 1000 Watt. Please, do not try to build sauna yourself if you don’t know what you’re doing. Better ask or hire someone who has experience with electricity to do it for you. If you’ll set up a sauna in a bathroom keep in mind that as a wet place it has strict requirements for electrical wiring safety.

Infrared sauna with two infrared heaters

First way to set up a home sauna is described by Jim Clements in his article The Bathroom for FIR Sauna, in which he explains how to use two infrared heaters placed in a relatively small room (5×11 feet suggested). He uses two 500 Watt 9 Amp infrared heaters from THMI, saying that these heaters give similar experience as in an infrared sauna cabin. He gives no specific information about this heaters aside from wattage and don’t know if any other brand of heaters will suit for this sauna set-up. I think it is important that heaters should not have too high wattage (not above 600 Watt).

These two heaters should be placed on the either sides of the room (5-6 feet apart). As they are 9 Amp you should either use 20 Amp outlet or use extension cord from some other outlet in your house to split current between two 15 Amp outlets. Make sure that extension cord can safely handle power requirements of an infrared heater.

At pre-heating stage Jim recommends to turn heaters to a door or to a wall for heating to occur faster. Don’t place heaters too close to the walls or other objects due to the risk of inflammation. The heating time is usually greater than with infrared sauna cabin and can be from 30 minutes to an hour. When the room is heated you can use it as a common infrared sauna, just go and sweat there. You may want to place a towel under the door and not to use ventilation as it will let air flow to lower temperature in a room. You don’t necessarily have to use a bathroom for a sauna; you can use any suitable place or make a special enclosure.

As an addition for two heaters Jim uses a 250 Watt infrared lamp hanged on the room ceiling (in his description he suggests to attach it to a shower curtain rod. He says he uses a light bulb from Sylvania but I think other manufacturers will be fine. Try to get a lamp with not focused but radiant infrared light.

Infrared sauna with infrared lamps

Another way to build an infrared sauna at your home is proposed by Dr. Lawrence Wilson. On his page about sauna therapy he describes how to use three 250 Watt infrared light bulbs to build an infrared sauna. You will need three 250 Watt infrared bulbs (not clear heat, as he writes that they have wrong spectrum). He recommends using Philips, General Electric or Sli lamps. Also you will need three ceramic or plastic lamp sockets for the bulbs, fifteen feet of heavy lamp cord, medium duty male wall plug and a switch, or better, timer-switch which is capable to handle seven amps current.

Socket should be mounted on a 46′’ high by 15′’ wide (or 12′’ high by 24′’ wide if you want to mount it on a wall) board made from wood, plywood or veneer. They should form a triangle with the middle socket on the top of it. The top socket should be at chest level when sitting. Sockets should be wired in parallel. Connect socket wire to a switch. After attaching sockets to the board with screws you need to make a cover form hardware cloth to prevent bulbs from touching anything.

Be very careful when using this sauna, always secure a board to a wall to ensure that it will not fall. Do not allow children to play with or use it without your supervision.

Dr. Wilson also describes how to build an enclosure for your sauna with a set of pipes. They form a frame which can be covered by blankets or other fabric to create a small room which can be used for sauna sessions.

Comparison of two methods

The first method described, by Jim Clements, is much easier to implement than the second, by Dr. Lawrence Wilson. And what is more important it uses prefabricated equipment so no additional wiring is needed so the risk of harm or malfunction is low. Heaters are covered so they cannot be touched by design and all wiring is made at factory. The minus is that infrared heaters cost more than infrared heat lamps.

From the other side, Dr. Wilson’s sauna, if made well and accurate is no worse that the first one, but costs significantly less. To build it one should know how to do electrical wiring or have someone who will do it for them. This sauna’s safety depends on a skill of the person who made it and can be dangerous if done improperly.

Once again, I want to warn anyone who wants to build a sauna that you must do it only if you are sure that you’re doing. You should be familiar with electrical wiring and should have skill and knowledge to do it right. Authors of the original articles or me can not be responsible for the misuse of a sauna or any problem with poor construction. Remember – safety first.