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Did you know?
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.
Really great idea!
Well, winter is officially here. And last winter, I had an electricity bill that was DOUBLE my monthly average– which is completely unacceptable. But, before those dreaded winter electricity bills come rolling in, you can prevent them! There are plenty of ways to lock down your home, get it ready for the cold, and save big. Check out this post by Teresa Mears at Yahoo Homes for home improvements that will keep you warm and toasty:
-Caulk around windows and doors, seal up all holes
-Put rugs down on non-carpeted floors
-Cover holes around electric outlets
-Add insulation in attic, crawl space, and basement
-Put a blanket around the water heater
Winter is here, and temperatures are dropping fast. I live in the South, where even one flake of snow is enough to cancel school, and temps are already under 20 degrees every night. I’m sure most of you live in even colder places. When temps get below freezing, it’s extremely important to protect your pipes from freezing and damage. There are quite a few ways to get this done. Check out this post by Emily Burns Morgan at Bobvila.com for tips on winterizing your plumbing:
-Never turn off the heat when leaving home for winter. Instead, set it to 55 degrees F.
-To make sure your pipes are well-insulated, close crawl space vents and stuff insulation over the openings.
-If your bathroom pipes run along an outside exterior wall, try keeping the vanity door(s) open to allow heat inside.
If you asked everyone what they would include in their home on an unlimited budget, nearly everyone would say a home theater. I know I would! That, a pool, and a giant library with a spiral staircase and comfy chairs. Most people picture a home theater as being an extravagant, over the top purchase. In most cases, that’s true- if you add in special recliner theater seating, an expensive 3D TV, and high end speakers- well, you’d have to be very wealthy. However, there are ways to do it cheaper. Projectors are not terribly expensive, and then all you need is a blank white wall and plenty of seating! If you’re planning to install your own home theater, and happen to be a football fan, I have just the inspiration for you. Check out this post by Bwalker at the Home Theater Gear blog for ideas:
-Move the snacks to your theater. Add a mini fridge, a hotdog roller, or even a popcorn machine!
-Customize chairs and other furniture with team colors and logos.
-Add a riser for that stadium feel, as well as giving all your guests the best seat in the house.
After I had lived in my apartment for almost a year, my roommate had the bright idea of vacuuming the big vent for the AC in the living room. After a year, we had all just sort of figured that the vent was a grayish black color. Lo and behold, after he vacuumed the thick layer of dust off of it, the vent underneath was white. Pretty gross. It’s not pleasant to think about, but there are areas like that all over your house. Places you see every day but don’t even think to clean- places that get really, really dirty. Read this post at Life As Mama for a list:
-Your steering wheel
-Pop up sink toppers
-Air conditioning and heating vents (told you!)
Installing lighting and other electrical equipment yourself can save you tons of money (though, there are many cases when a professional is needed! Know your limits!) But, what if you need to install something into your bathroom, and you have tile walls? If you don’t know what you’re doing, you can shatter the tile (which is not a good look). For a great tutorial, read this post by Nate and Michelle at Decor and the Dog:
Choose the correct drill bit. - Regular drill bits aren’t strong enough to drill through tile. Tile is made to be strong and hold up to a beating but these qualities make it hard to drill into.
Mark the area with painter’s tape to keep the drill from slipping
Use light pressure on the drill. It’s tempting to want to drill fast. Drilling through tile takes patience. It took about 5-10 minutes for each hole drilled. Be sure to keep the drill bit cool!
ShakhammerHome improvement your passion? Grab a hammer and join us.
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