Tuesday, November 2, 2021 / by Matt Davies
It's getting chilly out there! If you've been thinking that your fireplace could use a facelift, there's no time like the present. Here are a few suggestions on how to give your fireplace a makeover before the coldest days of the year set in, so you can enjoy the new look all winter long.
1. Paint it
Nothing transforms a space more quickly and easily than paint, and that applies to fireplaces too. If you have outdated red brick on your fireplace, a few coats of white, black, or gray paint can transform it from an eyesore to a showstopper. You can knock this project out in an afternoon. First use a wire brush to clean the brick, then apply an oil-based primer, then apply the paint color of your choice. Done!
2. Whitewash it
A subtler touch than paint, whitewashing can lighten up a dark fireplace and brighten up a room in the process. With whitewashing, you'll skip priming the brick surface and simply apply a mixture of white paint diluted with water. Just make sure to test the mixtu. ...
Monday, October 11, 2021 / by Matt Davies
Put Down Roots this Fall
Spring is often thought of as the best time for planting, but planting in the fall can offer some significant advantages for your plants. Below are some reasons why fall is the best time for planting perennials, trees, and shrubs.
Perfect Planting WeatherThe cooler weather of fall is easier for plants and gardeners alike. The ground isn’t dry or frozen, and temperatures are mild and enjoyable. Your plants aren’t stressed out by extreme conditions, so they acclimate to their new environment quicker. Plus, you can tend to them without excessive sweating or sunburn!
Flexibility and Rampant RootsThere is no need to rush to prevent plants from drying up in their containers or delay because the ground is too hot. You can plant whenever is convenient for you.
As for trees, planting them when they’ve lost their leaves is actually better because they won’t have to exert energy growing leaves and can focus on growing roots. This is ...
Thursday, September 23, 2021 / by Matt Davies
Thanks to HGTV, "Demo Day" is often thought of as the fun part of renovation and construction. Owners and celebrity reno stars wield sledgehammers and power tools while kicking down drywall, tearing out cabinets, and throwing building material from second-story windows. The carefree assault on a dated home makes demolition look easy and fun, but there is more skill and expertise involved than you might think.
If you're considering a DIY demo to save money before a renovation, make sure you know what you're getting into, and you are prepared for any problems that may arise.
Safety First: Ensure you have enough safety equipment — steel-toed work boots, safety glasses, hard hats, masks, and work gloves for everyone in your crew. Full coverage, snug-fitting shirts and pants provide protection from splinters, itchy fiberglass, and rusty-nail scratches. Keep a first aid kit handy, and make sure your phone is fully charged in the event of an emergency.
Hidden Hazards: Is there a1 ...
Tuesday, September 7, 2021 / by Matt Davies
If you're brand new to the wonderful world of home loans, you might be a bit overwhelmed by how many different types of financing options are really out there. Both primary loan types (fixed-rate and adjustable-rate) have many variations, so how do you know which one is best for you?
Let’s start with Fixed-Rate Mortages. The most popular loan in today's marketplace is the 30-year fixed. This is a loan paid over the course of 30 years, with a fixed interest rate, meaning you’ll pay the same interest rate in year one as you will in year 30 of your mortgage. Your payment may change due to insurance or taxes, but generally a 30-year loan is seen as a practical option due its stability, simplicity, and month-to-month affordability.
So, what's the attraction of the 15-year-fixed? A 15-year loan will have slightly lower interest rates compared to a similarly priced 30-year loan, but since the term is so much shorter, you’ll pay much less in interest over the life of th1 ...
Tuesday, August 24, 2021 / by Matt Davies
As Ben Franklin once said: “In this world, nothing is certain but death and cleaning your gutters before winter to prevent ice dams”. With that, here are five fall home maintenance activities to start thinking about in the coming weeks.
Check your chimneyMake sure everything is in order before the first fire of the season. “Creosote buildup causes chimney fires,” says Family Handyman. “You should have your chimney professionally inspected or cleaned after every 70 fires. Don’t remember the last time you had it cleaned by a pro? A quick way to tell if your chimney needs cleaning is to run the point of your fireplace poker along the inside of your chimney liner. If you find a 1/8” layer (or more) of buildup, call a chimney sweep.”
Check your roofStorms, wind, and other weather conditions over the past year could have done damage that you’re not aware of. Don’t wait until the first heavy snow to find out you have a leak. If1 ...