Stay On Top Of Your Garage Door Opener Maintenance

If you want your garage door opener to stay in tip-top shape all year long it’s important that you take the time to do a bit of preventative maintenance from time to time. The last thing you want is for your garage door to fail on you in an unpleasant situation – when you’re running late for work, experiencing terrible weather, or events such as these. I’ve personally had a situation where my garage door opener wasn’t functioning properly, and while I watched my garage door close on my way out for the day I didn’t realize that it turned around and opened right back up as I was driving away!

Issues such as this and many more can be avoided by paying attention to a few of the most common issues experienced with garage door openers. Let’s take a look at some of the more important aspects of garage door opener maintenance that you can focus your time on.

Keep it Quiet

While the operating noise produced by your garage door opener is largely dependant on the model you choose and the mechanism of opening, there are still some things that you can do to make sure the unit operates quietly on an ongoing basis. First off, if having a quiet garage door opener is of utmost importance to you, you should find a model that is known for it’s quiet operation to begin with. You can check through BGDOR’s recommendations and find a model that works best for your home and your budget.

Beyond having the proper model installed in your garage, there are a few things should check up on. First, you need to make sure that you keep the drive mechanism clean. As time goes on they have a tendency to build up dust and debris – especially if the drive mechanism has exposed grease. If you notice this kind of build up make sure to remove it and it can make the operation less smooth and in really serious cases it can even cause the drive mechanism to jam up and break.

With the drive mechanism in excellent shape (as I’m sure you have it by now!) it’s important to make sure that you replace any lubricant you’ve removed with a fresh application. Refer to your garage door opener’s owner’s manual for specific details, and always make sure to isolate the units from power sources to remove the risk of hazard while working.

Check The Battery

Another place that will often be the source of issues with garage door openers is their on board battery. You might not even know that your garage door opener has one until it’s too late. They have a battery in case of power failure, and once it needs to be replaced it’ll start beeping to let you know that it’s time. While the beeping can be a bit annoying, it’s not the end of the world until the power goes out. Then you’re in trouble!

The main problem with this is that the batteries for garage door openers are simply not a standard size. You can’t just grab some AAs off the shelf of your pantry and get it back to operational unfortunately. For this reason, I’d recommend having a spare on hand, especially as your garage door opener gets older and has seen some use.

Check In On The Sensors

Did you know that every garage door opener has sensors that detect if there is something blocking the travel path of the garage door? These are installed for obvious safety reasons. The number one reason that people have trouble with their garage doors is due to faults with these sensors. If you’re experiencing issues like the one I described in the opening paragraph of this article, then the sensors are a great place to start troubleshooting.

Take a look at your owner’s manual to get an idea of how your particular sensors work, but generally one is an emitter and one is a detector. If they are not optimally aligned they make be telling the brains of the unit that something is in the way when it actually is not. This can lead to odd behavior that is otherwise unexplained.

These preventative maintenance steps can make sure that your garage door operates smoothly on an ongoing basis. A little bit of work can go a long way in preventing headaches throughout the year.

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Dog Crate Types (and When Its a Kennel, Pen, or Cage)

There are many options to safely contain your puppy or dog when they cannot be supervised, but which one is best? This article will discuss what options are available to you and how to choose the best one for your dog or puppy.

dog inside a crate

Pen vs Cage vs Crate vs Kennel?

There are four options to contain your puppy or dog while you are not home; a pen, a crate, a cage, or a kennel. Some of these words are frequently used interchangeably, however, there is a difference between those. 

pen is like a baby’s playpen, there is no top and they are often easily collapsible for storage or for travel. They may be made out of fabric, plastic, or metal and come in a variety of sizes. Pens are best for small breeds of dogs.

crate is a portable box made of plastic, metal, or fabric with a door to contain a puppy or dog. This is what is most commonly used; it is the typical crate that the average family uses day-to-day. Sometimes people refer to crates as cages when referring to the same type of enclosure, though they are quite different. 

cage is also portable and may be similarly structured to a crate, however, these are much smaller than a crate that the average family utilizes. Cages are designed to be stacked on top of each other to house multiple animals, while crates are made to be on the ground, not vertically stacked. Cages are most often found in grooming salons or laboratories that test on animals instead of crates because their smaller size and stacking ability allows more dogs and animals to be housed in a room. Due to its smaller size, a dog should not be housed in a cage on a daily basis. If you are debating crate vs cage, for daily use, it is no contest; your dog needs a crate. 

kennel is not portable and may appear similar to a metal crate, but much larger. Kennels are most often large boxes made of chain link fence for walls with one door and no floor, occasionally with a roof or sometimes with some sort of covering. Kennels setups are most often utilized by people with multiple dogs and land who contain their dogs outdoors, such as dog breeders or dog rescues. Kennels are available with and without tops. If a dog will be outside for an extended period of time, a top that provides shade from the sun and proper accommodations to keep a dog warm in the winter, as well as a constant supply of freshwater, is an essential part of the dog being ethically treated. Keep in mind that dogs are highly social animals who need daily exercise and mental stimulation; a dog cannot live in an outdoor kennel and receive no exercise or attention. Kennels may be set up in basements of residences, however, they are very large and cumbersome to use indoors, so the average family would not utilize a kennel.

Dog Crate Types

There are three options; plastic, metal, or fabric.

Plastic crates consist of two molded plastic pieces that screw together with a metal door on the front. These crates are ideal for daily use. If a dog has an accident, it is contained inside the crate and would not get on the floor around it. Dogs who are anxious appreciate the privacy and security they have in plastic crates; it becomes like their little man cave or a teenager’s bedroom. Plastic crates are a little bulky to store; you would unscrew the molded pieces and stack them onto each other. 

Metal crates are metal grid boxes that are collapsible. Many have two doors, one on the long side and one on the short side, which maximizes your options of where the crate can be positioned in your house. The metal grid-style provides your dog with the ability to see everywhere in the room outside of his crate. The drawback to the metal crate is that if your dog has an accident near aside, it will spill onto the floor as well as around and underneath the crate. Metal crates also do not offer the same privacy and security to dogs that plastic crates do, however, covers may be purchased to help them feel more secure.

Fabric crates are made with canvas fabric and a metal frame that pops and/or snaps into place like a convertible top on a car. These are ideal for travel, not everyday use. Some dogs may attempt to chew their way out to escape, and if determined, they will succeed, so ensure that your dog is in a secure area if you choose this type of crate. 

Crate vs Pen, Which Should I Use For My Dog?

This is a personal preference, however, the biggest determining factor will be the size and personality of a dog. A pen is best for toy breeds of dogs and crates are best for dogs over twenty pounds. 

A dog who is bouncy and or large is highly likely to attempt to escape the pen at their first opportunity when they realize there is no roof. The larger the dog, the greater the potential for an accident to occur resulting in their suffering an injury from attempting to escape. 

Can A Dog Crate Be Too Small?

Yes, a dog crate can be too small. A dog should be able to stand up and move around in a circle to get themselves comfortable to lay down. If they cannot stand up or turn around, they will be incredibly uncomfortable and become stiff quickly.

Can A Dog Crate Be Too Big?

There are two schools of thought on this topic:

Many dog owners purchase a crate a size bigger than their dog needs to allow them enough space to get comfortable. 

Other dog owners believe that if a crate is too big, the dog will use one end of the crate to relieve themselves and sleep on the other end. Some dogs will do this, but others will not. 

When selecting a crate like goldilocks selecting a chair and bowl of porridge, consider your dog’s personality, behavior, and house training when making this decision.

Dog's eyes

Maximizing Your Investment

To maximize your investment in a crate when shopping for your puppy’s first crate, look for a dog crate that grows with the puppy. Some metal crates come with a divider that can be used to help create a smaller sized crate when the puppy is small, and that may be moved to allow for more room as they grow. This will prevent you from having to purchase another crate when they get older. Crates with dividers are also cost-efficient and space-efficient for owners of two dogs who need to be crated separately. Plastic and fabric crates do not have the ability to install dividers, so a metal crate would be the only option.

How Do I Crate Train My Puppy Or Dog?

Here are some simple steps to help crate train your puppy or dog:

  • Begin by setting up the crate in the location where you want it to remain long term.
  • Next, make it appealing by putting in cozy blankets, fun toys, and yummy treats. 
  • Leave the crate door open to allow your puppy or dog the freedom to explore the crate.
  • After they have had a few hours to get used to the crate being in their space, put a treat inside the crate and say “get in your bed” and point inside the crate. Your dog should go in. If they do, give them another treat and shut the door. 
  • Leave the house for fifteen to thirty minutes and return. You’ll want this first crate experience to be short and sweet to ensure the dog does not associate negative things with the crate.
  • The next day, slightly increase the time, then the next day slightly increases the time again. 
  • Always take your puppy or dog outside to relieve themselves right before they are crated to prevent an accident.
  • Never use their crate as punishment or they will associate the crate with bad things and not want to use it.
  • Make sure that your family and friends know that your dog’s crate is his space; no one can go in with him or pull him out, and when he goes into his crate his decision to be alone in his crate should be respected.

How Do I Keep My Puppy or Dog Safe In Their Crate?

All puppy and dog owners should consider the following safety tips when crating their pet:

  • Never crate a dog before removing their collar or harness. Dogs may hook their collar or harness on the crate and injure themselves or suffocate. 
  • Never crate a dog with toys that they could destroy and eat. Kong toys are safe to a crate, but a stuffed toy that could be unstuffed and eaten could result in a painful experience and expensive veterinary bills.
  • Do not put a crate too close to a window or in direct sunlight to help your dog maintain good body temperature. A crate should not be used outside; dogs may suffer from heatstroke or freeze to death depending on the weather conditions.

How Do I Keep My Puppy Or Dog Comfortable In Their Crate?

Here are some tips to keep your pet comfortable in their crate:

  • Use a mattress style orthopedic dog bed and put a blanket on top. You may add as many layers as you like, “princess and the pea” style, as long as your dog still has enough room to stand. If your dog has separation anxiety, use the blanket yourself before putting it in so it will smell like you and bring them comfort. 
  • Purchase a Kong toy and fill it with dog biscuits to entertain your pet while crated. Should you choose to add peanut butter, be sure to check the label to ensure there are no sweeteners that could be toxic to your dog.
  • Play classical music or calming nature sounds. Alternatively, some dogs may enjoy the TV being left on. Creating background noise will reduce your dog’s ability to hear things that he may feel the need to bark at, decreasing the chance your neighbors would get annoyed and report your dog barking excessively to the police.
  • Use dim lights and close curtains to keep the room slightly dark, which will help your dog remain calm and encourage him to rest.

How Long Can My Puppy Or Dog Be Crated?

Consider that puppies and dogs are living, breathing creatures, not stuffed animals, who have daily needs that must be met just like humans do. Puppies and dogs need to get physical exercise, mental stimulation, affection, proper meals, and relieve themselves multiple times a day. 

For example, a large to a medium-sized dog can probably hold their bladder for approximately six hours depending on their health. 

Someone who works an eight-hour shift should use their lunch break in the middle of their shift to run home and take their dog outside to relieve themselves and stretch their legs. 

A dog should not be crated an entire day or even twelve hours; if an owner will be away from the home for such an extended period of time, the services of a dog walker are necessary. 

Dogs crated for extended periods of time, such as in excess of six hours, may have an accident in their crate and become stiff from being unable to stretch and move around. Dogs who have arthritis or joint problems should be crated for minimal amounts of time, as this could exacerbate their medical conditions.

Is Crating My Dog All Day Bad?

This is a loaded question; the answer is yes and no. 

No, it is not bad to crate a dog while you are at work or going out. 

Yes, it is bad to crate a dog constantly for consecutive hours on end, such as an extended period of time like twelve hours. Crating a dog for more hours than they are out of their crate on a regular basis is not good for them mentally, emotionally, or physically. Dogs are not hamsters; they were not created to live in crates. 

If an emergency occurs and you have no choice and it is a one time or super rare event that will not cause long term harm to your puppy or dog, however, doing so daily or multiple times a week is not healthy for your pet. 

man and dog silhouette

Can All Dogs And Puppies Be Crated?

No, not all dogs and puppies can be crated. Some dogs suffer from very extreme anxiety related to crating, often as a result of abuse or simply general anxiety, which would result in them injuring themselves frantically attempting to escape the crate. For example, a dog who is severely anxious to escape a crate might try to chew the door and hook their jaw into the metal grid, dislocating their jaw in an attempt to escape.

If you are unsure if your dog will tolerate being crated, do small tests and set up a camera to monitor your dog’s reaction when you leave home rather than crating them for an extended period of time without ensuring he is able to handle it. 

If your dog cannot tolerate being crated, consider puppy proofing a room and using that as his dedicated space for when he must be home alone.

Should I Crate My Puppy or Dog?

It is recommended that you crate your puppy or dog for the following reasons:

  • It is safer for your dog to be crated if no one is home with her; by containing her in a small safe space, it prevents her from falling and injuring herself or from eating something that could be harmful to her. 
  • If the police break into your home to execute a search warrant or for some other reason, they may shoot a dog who charges at them. A dog in a crate is not considered an active threat.
  • If a burglar breaks into your house, they may harm your dog if your dog charges at them. 
  • If your dog likes marking his territory in a certain area of the house, containing him while you are gone prevents him from taking the opportunity to relieve himself there in your absence. 
  • If your dog recently suffered an injury, crating her will force her to rest. Keep in mind that she may get a lot of pent up energy from being crated for long periods of time, and owners should be prepared to offer mental stimulation in low key activities like training to channel that energy.
  • If you have a small dog who could be easily trampled underfoot or any size dog who takes every opportunity to run out of an open door, a crate is helpful when a party is hosted and there are many house guests who might not pay attention and step on a small dog or inadvertently allow a larger dog to run out of the house.

Closing Considerations

While crates are an excellent solution to keep your dog safe in your absence, keep in mind that dogs are not meant to live in a crate or kennel constantly like a hamster. Dogs are very social animals with intelligence comparable to human toddlers; they are meant to be an active member of your family and they will enrich your life beyond your comprehension. You can look for the right one here.

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With Winter Storms Around The Corner, A Snow Blower is A Must Have

It is that time of the year once more, the time when the snow starts falling and continues to fall for days. It is the time of the year when roads get slippery and stores are sold out of all the essentials. But with it being that time of year, what is the one thing that everyone should have? The answer is simple, a snowblower. 

Trying to dig yourself out of the snow can be hard if you suffer from any medical problems. The medical problems can include a bad back, bad shoulders, or even little strength. When you have any of these medical problems, digging yourself out of the snow can be impossible. 

A snowblower is a must have for more than just home owners. If you rent a place, a snowblower is just as important. The Troybilt Squall 2100 is a favorite of many homeowners. Perhaps you are responsible for the removal of the snow where you live. If so, a snowblower is the solution for you. 

Snow can be difficult to remove if the snow is too heavy. There are things that you can do to make sure that when you begin snowblowing that the snow is being cleared easily. Here are some things you can do when snowblowing your driveway, sidewalks or simply clearing paths. 

First off, just like when you mow the grass, you need to plan on a pattern. This pattern is going to clear the snow easier than if you just start snowblowing. You will then need to decide how you want to clear the pathway. You will want to decide if a pile of snow is what you want to do or if you want to make piles of snow on both sides of what you are clearing. 

You will also want to consider this as you are clearing the snow. You do not want to always blow the snow out into the street. Consider this as you are clearing the snow, it can be dangerous to blow all that snow into the street where passing cars are. You also want to consider that when the snow plow comes along to clear the street, the snow will only get pushed back into your driveway or yard once more. If your car is parked in the road, that cleared snow will only pile around the parked cars and you will need to clear it once more. 

Before you begin snowblowing, you will want to start the snowblower in an area where it is well ventilated. The start of the snowblower in a confined area is going to create exhaust which can be bad for your lungs. The electric start option is one thing that people like but this can also be a disadvantage as it will require the extension cord to reach to the area where you want to start the snowblower. 

Also you will want to clear the snow in a slow manner. If you have a large amount of snow and it is heavy snow, the slower you go, the better your experience will be. The pace of the snowblowing can affect the function of the snowblower. If you push too fast, the snowblower can malfunction and can burn out the engine of the snowblower. It is also important that you rotate the chute often to create multiple piles rather than just one spot as well. 

If you put all this thought into how to snowblow, you will see that snowblowing is easier than most people think. Snowblowing your first time will be easier and better than shoveling your way out of a snow storm.

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When Making A Garage, Here Are Key Aspects To Get Right

For many men and women, the garage isn’t just a place to store items. Instead, it can be used as their private space to get away from the world for a time. For those who like to use their garage as places to build projects, store their favorite activities, or just use it as a place to hang out, building your very own garage can be useful. However, it can be easy to get it wrong, especially for beginners. As such, here are a few tips to consider before you start construction on your new garage.

1. Know What You’re Using It For

First and foremost, you need to know what the primary use of your garage is going to include. If it’s just for storage, then you know you need to make sure that you make it tall enough to possibly use the ceiling as an anchor to hang items. You may not need the same sort of space that you might if you were going to use it for projects or a workspace. With the primary use in mind, you can more accurately plan the size and shape of the garage without wasting materials or not have enough materials for your build.

2. Garage Door/Door Opener

You also need to consider what garage door you intend to use. How does it look? Do you need windows for ventilation and light? The garage door opener goes hand-in-hand with this. What form of garage opener works best for you and your family? You’ll want to make sure you have an excellent quality garage door opener, or else you’ll run the risk of having to pry your door open yourself. While these may be the last details that you’re thinking about, they’re important to both the design and execution of your finished garage.

3. Ventilation

If you intend to use your garage in the winter, or during the hot summer, then you need proper ventilation. While many open their garage doors during the winter and then turn on their cars to heat the space, this could make it easy for potential robbers to come by and steal items in your garage unless you are constantly in the garage while the door is open. Instead, you may want to close the door, but with the cars relaxing toxic fumes in an enclosed space, it could prove fatal. As such, you need to ensure that you install proper ventilation space, particularly around the zones of the garage you’re going to frequent.

4. Workspace/Workbench

For those who have hobbies that involve a workspace or workbench, that is something to keep in mind when building and designing your garage as well. How big do you want your space and bench to be? Is it close to a window or light, so you can actually see what you’re doing? As mentioned earlier, is it close enough to ventilation ducts to keep you safe? You may also want to consider the workbench itself and what you need to make sure the bench is durable and sturdy. The last thing you want is your bench to fall apart during its first use. Plan the space accordingly, so you can use the rest of your garage practically as well.

5. Electric

Unless you have a keen understanding of electric work, this is probably best left for the hands of professionals. Lighting will be something to consider and how much you need of it. You’ll also want to be sure that you put enough outlets for the tools and devices that you need to power. Also, you have to consider the voltage. If you intend to use big powered items like a welder, then you can expect to need a whole lot of voltage. If your electrical system isn’t pushing out enough, then you aren’t going to be able to use those items. Talk with professionals, so they understand exactly what you need, so they can properly assist you.

6. Heating And Cooling

One last aspect you may want to consider is installing a heating and cooling system. For those who intend to use their garage a lot, then an HVAC unit can make their time in the garage comfortable and less dangerous. Staying cool in the summer and warm in the winter can allow you to work in your garage regardless of the weather outside. Install it correctly to make the most of your garage.

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How To Choose The Right Home Water Filtration System

Keeping clean water in your home is an obvious priority. If the water that comes out of your tap doesn’t look like it’s up to speed, you can take action to improve it. There are a number of highly effective water filtration systems that you buy on the market. These systems are easy to install and even easier on your budget.

However, before you commit to a purchase, it’s a good idea to make sure that you are choosing the system that is right for your needs. What follows is a handy checklist of things to keep in mind when you buy a water filtration system. Use it to make the best choice for your own needs as well as the needs of your family.

Step 1: Find Out What is in Your Water

The very first thing you will need to do is find out exactly what is in your water. This way, you will be able to select the most effective water filter for your home. When you know what kind of chemicals and minerals may be present in your tap water, you will be in a much better position to decide what kind of filtration unit you need to buy. If your home is on a municipal water system, you can get this info from the city or county authorities.

Step 2: Decide What Kind of Water Filter You Want to Use

The next step will be to decide exactly what kind of device you intend to use the filter the water in your home. There are several different kinds of filters that come in various shapes and sizes. These filters make use of different types of technologies to do their intended job.

Pay attention to the type of filter that you are looking at. Some filtration units are definitely better at removing specific types of minerals and chemicals than others. Filters that make of use reverse osmosis technology are equipped to remove arsenic, nitrates, fluoride, and various other harmful substances.

There are a number of different types of water filters that you can choose from. A pitcher filter has an attached water filter as well as a a carbon filter that removes various types of silt, chemicals, and other materials.

You can also buy a faucet mounted filter. This may be the most common and inexpensive type of water filer. It can be attached directly to your faucet. You can set the device to dispense filtered or unfiltered water.

There are also a large number of under the sink filters. These are literally attached under the sink in order to perform the task of filtering harmful materials out of your water supply.

Step 3: Decide Where You Want the Filter to Be

How much water do you normally use in your home? Do you need your water filtered specifically for drinking or for other purposes? If you just want to filter the drinking water in your home, you can make use of a point-of-use water filtration system. These are standalone devices that can be installed at the point where the water will be used. In this case, you can install it at the taps in your kitchen sink or on your refrigerator.

If you want to filter all of the water in your home you will need a point-of-entry system. This type of filtration device is specially installed at the point where the water first enters your home. All of the water that flows throughout your home is now being filtered. This would include the water that passes through your shower, washer, dryer, and other household utilities.

Step 4: Keep Track of How Much Water You Use in Your Home

The final step will be to keep track of just how much water you use in your home. By doing so, you can greatly extend the life of your water filter and save a great deal of money.

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6 Must-Have Power Tools for the Serious Home Renovator

Whether it’s converting an attic into a complete bedroom or installing new cabinets in the kitchen, home renovation projects are hard work. You must measure walls and corners, install fasteners, make adjustments and more. And if you make a mistake, you might be forced to start over. The right power tools, however, can streamline your renovation projects, allowing you to quickly and efficiently upgrade your home.

1. Cordless Drill

A cordless drill is an invaluable tool for serious home renovators. Typically featuring either a nickel-cadmium or lithium-ion rechargeable battery, their primary function is to bore pilot holes into wood and other materials. Most cordless drills support a variety of bits, so you can use them to insert screws into newly created pilot holes as well. Just remember to keep your cordless drill charged or invest in a backup battery.

2. Cordless Screwdriver

Many home renovators simply use a power drill to extract or insert screws. While this usually works, a cordless screwdriver is the preferred choice among serious renovators and builders because it performs fewer revolutions per minute. This makes them easier and more comfortable to use. Keep in mind that cordless screwdrivers aren’t as powerful as cordless drills. Therefore, you shouldn’t use them to drive screws into solid materials. Only use them to extract or insert screws.

3. Air Compressor

Some tools are designed to support the function of other tools. An air compressor, for example, is a versatile power tool that’s used for pneumatic staple guns, nail guns, paint sprayers, water hoses and more. Without an air compressor, you won’t be able to use any of these tools. Air compressors feature an electric or gasoline motor that compresses air to a specific pressure. While all air compressors perform this action, there are different available, including twin-stack, wheelbarrow and pan cake style.

4. Belt Sander

A belt sander will allow you to buff and refinish surfaces in your home renovation projects. This handheld, motorized power tool features two small cylinders on the bottom that hold sandpaper. When turned on, the sandpaper moves rapidly against any surface on which it’s placed to remove the outer layer of material. After the outer layer has been removed, apply your surface preferred finish. You can use a belt sander to refinish floors, cabinets, doors and furniture. For most projects, it’s recommended that you start with a high-grit sandpaper and gradually transition to a low-grit paper to achieve the smoothest finished texture.

5. Nail Gun

Also known as a nailer, a nail gun is a handheld power tool that drives nails into wood and other materials. Most nail guns are driven by compressed air though some use butane or other flammable gases. Regardless of type, all nail guns make driving nails into floors, walls and ceilings a breeze.

6. Circular Saw

A circular saw is a power tool that uses a circular, metallic disc to cut through material. Power supplied from either a connected electrical outlet or battery spin the metallic disc. When the spinning disc is placed against a surface, such as a 2-by-4, it creates a clean, smooth cut through the material. Without a circular saw or any other powered saw, you’ll have to cut materials the old way: using a hacksaw. This is incredibly tedious and inefficient for home renovation projects, so add a circular saw to your toolbox.

For serious home renovators, a hammer and manual screwdriver isn’t going to cut it. Invest in these power tools to streamline your renovation projects.

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Bathroom Talk: How To Make Your Tiles Remarkable

If you are planning a bathroom remodel, then you may be overwhelmed with the multitude of choices that you are going to have to make. What height do you want your mirrors at? What kind of hardware do you want on your cabinets? Do you want your floors heated? The list of questions can go on and on. There are upgrades that you may choose to forego, but there are upgrades to your bathroom that you may definitely want to consider. The following upgrades discussed are perhaps the most important ones to consider, when creating your bathroom remodel plan.

One oftentimes overlooked upgrade, but a very simple one to make is to actually anchor the towel bar to the wall. Many times, the towel bar is just screwed into the dry wall and over time the weight of wet towels on the bar can cause the bar to pull away from the wall, thus causing damage. An easy solution is to actually use specialized anchoring hardware to anchor the bar to the wall in a more sturdier fashion. This installation technique will keep the towel bar more secure and will prevent wall damage down the road. A really cheap upgrade for your remodeling project.

Make sure that you include the installation of a vent fan in your bathroom upgrade. A vent fan works to shift all of that warm, moist air out of your bathroom after a steamy hot shower is taken. This move not only prevents you from having a foggy bathroom mirror, but over time that warm, moist environment can actually allow mold to grow. A vent plan is an absolutely necessary bathroom upgrade to keep your bathroom mold free.

Caulk, caulk, caulk. Caulking may seem like a tedious process and if you are not a professional contractor then it can be, but by utilizing the correct tools and having just a bit of patience, you can complete the job. Caulking is a necessary step in sealing the area around your shower, bathtub, and sinks from damage that will occur if water slips into cracks and crevices. So, take the time and caulk or make sure that your remodeling contractor is doing it for you.

Another simple upgrade, that can actually really change the look of your bathroom and not break the budget is to upgrade all of your faucets. One trip into a home improvement store will allow you to see the hundreds of choices that you now have for bathroom fixtures, including faucets. Choose the ones that fit your taste and your budget and you will be surprised at just how much it changes the overall look of your bathroom remodel.

Renovating your bathroom can be an exciting process. You may finally be getting that new look that you have literally waited years for or maybe you are actually making the changes to increase the resell value of your home. Take your time in the process and choose to complete the upgrades that you think will give you the overall look that you want for your bathroom remodel.

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The Most Important Upgrades When Renovating a Kitchen

It is no secret that home improvements are the key to selling your home and obtaining the best value for it. Choosing the right improvements is key to getting the most out of your real estate sale. The cost to renovate is quite expensive so what area of the house does one focus on? The answer is…the kitchen. The kitchen is the main attraction to any home. In fact, most new homebuyers do not want to get a subpar kitchen as they themselves would have to spend lots of money to renovate it. It is probably the most expensive room to renovate and requires the most detail. In this article, we will outline the most important upgrades when renovating a kitchen.

Countertops Speak Volumes About the Kitchen

The countertop is the centerpiece of every kitchen upgrade. There are many types of material to choose from such as: wood, granite, quartz, marble and even recycled glass! The preferred choices are granite and marble due to the variety and ease of installation. Although costlier than wood or laminate, they are stronger material and have an aesthetically pleasing appearance. As I have experienced, wood laminate will peel along the borders as they age but granite and marble still appear intact after many years. If you cannot afford granite or marble, find a wood laminate that is darker in appearance as spills can cause staining of the wood which are noticeable. Also, depending on the size of the kitchen, renovators should always consider adding a median island counter at the center of the kitchen.

Cabinet style that compliments the Countertop is Key

A durable and stylish cabinet selection will add value to the kitchen. Some of the more popular styles are the see-thru glass door or shaker-style cabinets. Color also plays a big part in this selection as it should compliment the countertops in a way to blend with the rest of the kitchen. Some other popular ideas that are emerging include the use of under cabinet lighting which adds spice to any kitchen décor. The barest of details are also critical to cabinet selection. This could include selecting the right handles and knobs or deciding to have open shelving. As you can tell, there are a lot of considerations when selecting the kitchen cabinet.

The Cherry on Top: Kitchen Appliances

The selection of kitchen appliances is the last major component in renovating the kitchen. This includes, but is not limited to, the following: refrigerator, stove, sink, dishwasher and microwave oven. There are different styles of appliances but the two main ones are stainless steel and traditional matte color. Some of the trending styles include retro–style and glossy-style appliances. Ensure that the brands of the appliances are reputable. Other considerations include: bottom freezer versus side-to-side refrigerators or selection of the stovetops such as electric coil or induction.

If you consider the above upgrades to any kitchen renovation, you will not have any problems selling your home in any market.

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