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  • As a rule of thumb, it's a good idea to have chimneys cleaned at least once a year. Usually before cold weather sets in.
  • read all shaktoids!
    September 15, 2014
    Energy Conservation Tips

    The cooler months have finally arrived! After a long summer of nearly 90° weather every day, I nearly shed tears of joy when it hit 60° a few days ago. I’m so excited for Fall and Winter! But, unfortunately, with colder weather comes higher electric bills. You can curb them later by making a few simple changes now. Get a jump start on winterizing with these easy energy saving tips by The Family Handyman, with tutorials on how to do each of them:

    -Find and seal leaks in the attic

    -Use foam gaskets to seal electrical boxes

    -Use silicone caulk and foil tape to seal leaks in ductwork

    -Wrap pipes with insulation.

    Photo Credit: thebarrowboy 


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    September 10, 2014
    Wordless Wednesday: Consider Decluttering

    Photo from Pop Sugar


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    September 4, 2014
    Should You Install A Barn Door?

    I love the look of barn doors inside the home! They have a great rustic appeal, and instead of opening on a hinge, they slide. They can be great statement pieces, or used as a simple way to hide a closet or other unsightly areas. However, if you don’t plan the room design out ahead of time, they can stick out like a sore thumb. If you’re considering putting in a sliding barn door, read this post by Melisa Bleasdale at Houzz first:

    -Always know the structural stability of the area before putting in/ taking out anything.

    -Keep in mind what you’re covering up: barn doors essentially hover over the space, not lying flush like a regular door. Therefore, they may not be ideal for bathrooms.

    -What look are you going for? Make sure that the door adds to the rest of the room, rather than detracting from it.

    Photo Credit: Paul J. Everett 


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    August 28, 2014
    Toolbox Basics

    When I moved into my first apartment, the only tools I had were a hammer and some duct tape. And that about covered it….for about two months. Then, the float ball in my toilet broke. I had to get a kit and install a new one… with no wrench, screwdriver, or anything else. Needless to say, it didn’t work. I broke down and bought a basic tool kit. In the long run though, I know it’s for the best. Every person starting out on their own needs to make that investment! So, what do you get? Check out this post at Gasweld Tool Centre for a list:

    -Flathead and Phillips Screwdrivers

    -Pliers

    -Hammer

    -Adjustable Wrench

    -Utility Knife

    -Power Drill

    -Level

    Photo Credit: Lenore Edman 


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    August 25, 2014
    Common Bathroom Mistakes

    Renovating the bathroom is a common step for people trying to boost their resale value. While it can certainly add some serious oomph to your home, if you’re not careful, you could end up losing money. Most are just overlooked– and they’re easy fixes. Check out this article by Marie Proeller Hueston at Zillow for help:

    -Don’t ignore the bathroom fan- replace old fans, keep them clean.

    -Always have a clear plan before demolishing

    -Be realistic about budget

    -Always fix even the smallest mistakes

    Photo Credit: EvelynnGiggles 


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    August 18, 2014
    Home Inspection Help

    Home inspections safeguard buyers by providing reports on the condition of homes. Though they are necessary, it can be nerve wracking for the seller. A bad inspection can severely bring down the property value, and can sometimes even break off potential offers. That’s why it’s important for sellers to make necessary repairs before putting their home on the market. Check out this post by Bill Gassett at Max Real Estate Exposure for the top issues that kill a sale that inspectors find when examining homes:

    -Structural issues: problems with the foundation, termite damage, and shoddy craftsmanship can all severely impact your inspection.

    -Drainage/ water issues

    -Mold problems

    -Bad roof

    -Asbestos/Lead/Radon problems

    Photo Credit: Chris Potter 


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    August 15, 2014
    Friday Fun Video: How To Install Doorknobs
    http://www.dailymotion.com/videoxgqgc5

    A quick and easy tutorial!

     


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    August 11, 2014
    Projects With Old Windows

    I love the look of old windowpanes! They can be used on all sorts of projects: some are functional, some are simply for decoration. You can leave them weathered, giving them a “shabby chic” style, or update them with new, bright coats of paint or stain. Today, I’ve found the motherlode of all upcycled window posts- this page at Funky Junk Interiors. Here are some of my favorites from her list:

    Old window mirror by Finding Home

    Old Window = Coatrack 

    Frosted Window Redo 

    Window Headboard 

    Chalk It Up 

    Garden window frames 

    Photo Credit: Bilal Kamoon 


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    August 8, 2014
    Friday Fun Videos: How To Install Pocket Doors
    http://www.dailymotion.com/videoxkjdo7

    These are pretty funky; I’m not quite sure how I feel about them. We do have them as our closet doors at our house, and they do the job! Also, these would be useful if you were trying to build a secret passage / room :)


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    July 29, 2014
    How To Fix Ripped Carpet

    I know that most buyers prefer homes with hardwood floors. I understand the classic visual appeal of them: they’ll never become dated, they look high end and polished, they don’t stain, and they’re much easier to clean. For me though, I will always prefer carpet. The thought of waking up in the morning and putting my bare feet on freezing hardwood floors is a huge turn off. Carpet has always felt more “home-y” to me: it’s warmer and more inviting. I don’t want to live in a perfect showroom; I want to live in a home. However, carpet does have its downsides. Like I mentioned before, it’s harder to clean, and can be an absolute nightmare if you have pets- cats especially. My cats never have accidents; they always use the litterbox. What they do have is claws. And they loooove ripping up carpet, no matter how many scratching posts I provide for them. So, it’s pretty important for me to know how to fix rips and tears in carpet. I use this guide from For Dummies. It has a great photo tutorial!

    Photo Credit: Eric Seiler 


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