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Monthly Archives: September 2018

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 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.