The Hidden Costs of Buying & Maintaining A Swimming Pool

A bright swimming pool on a sunny summer afternoon is always filled with smiles, laughs and all around fun. Swimming pools are great for the family and increasing your home’s value, but they also come with many maintenance items that will lighten your pockets.

Before installing a new outdoor swimming pool, be sure to see the most common costs of buying and maintain a swimming pool.

Costs of Inground vs. Above Ground Pools

Off the bat, all homeowners should know that inground swimming pools are more expensive to install than above ground. You will have to dig a very large hole to place the pool and this can only be done by a swimming pool professional. On average, the cost of installing a new inground swimming pool runs between $14,961 and $21,649. Choosing a pool installed at the ground level won’t require excavation (save $$$). In fact, the cost of an above ground pool is typically a third of that price. They rarely cost more than $4,500 to purchase and professionally install. To see the price in your

Hot Tub Costs

Whether it’s for relaxation, health or entertainment, hot tubs provide a home getaway like no other. Surprising to many, hot tub costs are not as high as many assume. While it certainly depends on your location, as well as model, type and accessories, you can oftentimes buy a new tub for less than $500.

Below, I will explain all the costs that come with hot tub installation, hot tub repairs, as well as the costs surrounding the various types and features.

Note: The terms hot tub and spa are used interchangeably, though spas are usually considered to be in-ground, permanent units, often installed in conjunction with a swimming pool. Spas will not be addressed below

Hot Tub Installation

Hot tubs are not expensive to install? According to our hot tub cost estimator, it costs $298 to install a new hot tub. Keep in mind, this price takes all hot tubs into consideration, including very inexpensive portable versions.

Nonetheless, many would agree that $298 is a small price to pay for a spa-like retreat, a romantic destination

How To Clean Kitchen Cabinets

There are few areas of your home more exposed to dirt, grease and bacteria than your kitchen cabinets. Children closing and opening kitchen cabinets, grease from cooking or condensation from outside temperatures all affect your cabinets, requiring you to clean them on a weekly, if not daily, basis.

The best way to clean kitchen cabinets, or any cabinet for that matter, is good old fashion TLC. Oftentimes, warm water, a diluted all-purpose cleaner and tough scrubbing will do the trick. However, this process can drastically change based on your cabinet surface. Below, you will find the best ways to clean wood, painted and metal kitchen cabinets.

How to Clean Wood Cabinets

The best way to clean wood cabinets is by purchasing an oil-soap wood cleaner. Many can be purchased relatively cheap from your local hardware store. On the other hand, you could clean your wooden cabinets using everyday materials you probably already own.

  • Detergent: Homeowners can use any oil/grease cutting dish or laundry detergent and water to clean their wood cabinets. As a general rule, you

The Next Hot Trend In Tile: Faux Wood Tile

Flooring options are becoming a heated debate and the two frontrunners are wood and tile. Oftentimes, someone in a household will love the natural beauty of wood and someone else will argue that tile is the most logical choice. This begs the question, is there any other option that can combine the practicality of tile and the sophisticated look of wood? Thanks to technology, we have an answer and the latest hot trend in home remodeling is faux wood tile.

What is Faux Wood Tile?

Faux wood tile is indeed a ceramic or porcelain tile that emulates real wood. You may question the quality of the “faux” tile, but believe me, if you didn’t know, more often than not, you can’t distinguish the real wood floors from the faux. Want a challenge? Tell me which living room has real hardwood floors?

I’m sorry. Both A and B are faux tiles.

Of course, the wood design is not the only reason faux tiles have gained recognition. Here are six reasons why more and more people tend to pick wood tile flooring over hardwood flooring.

1. Faux Wood Tile is More Durable Than Hardwood

Stained Concrete Floors

The idea of having concrete floors throughout the house is initially a turnoff to many people, until they see how stunning stained concrete floors can be. In the hands of a concrete artist, the flooring might be turned into something that looks more like marble or even brick. Patterns can be cut into the concrete to resemble grout lines dividing large pieces of colored tile flooring.

A popular form of concrete decoration is staining. Whether it’s acid or acrylic, staining the concrete is a good way to turn it from that boring grey into just the right color to match the rest of the room.

How to Stain Concrete Floors

Color can be added to the concrete by using chemical stains made of either acrylic or acid. Acrylic is harder to predict the outcome of, as it can point the chinks and cracks in concrete more prominently, so it’s often recommended that homeowners use acid-based stain when coloring their concrete floors.

Cleaning the concrete is key before laying the stain, as adding color to any surface will show any kind of variations or problems that might be there beforehand. So having dust highlighted would not be a good idea. Applying it uniformly is also

DIY Tips For Cleaning Tile Floors

Floors come in a myriad of choices, but tile remains an attractive choice among homeowners. Unlike hardwood floors, tile floors are durable, waterproof, easy to install and available in an array of styles. Most importantly, they don’t require as much maintenance as carpets do. However, if you want your tile floors looking like new for years, you should know how to clean them properly. Below are the best ways to clean tile floors, whether they are ceramic, vinyl or stone.

Clean Your Tile Floors Regularly

Don’t wait until your tile floors get really dirty, as you may want to avoid using strong chemicals that will degrade your tiles in the long run. Plus, who wants to spend hours kneeling on the floor just to scrub away stubborn stains? To prevent these problems, you should learn how to clean tile floors on a frequent basis. Cleaning tile floors routinely or even daily may sound tiresome. But, it’s not as hard as you think. You just need to follow these simple steps.

1. Sweep your tile floors daily with a fluffy dust mop or vacuum to remove loose dust and dirt. Remember, you should never use a straw broom to replace either the dust mop

6 Bathroom Floor Trends That Really Shine

The bathroom is one place in the home where you should attempt to stay on trend. Homeowners, buyers and sellers care about the look and functionality of this space, and you should too. The floors are especially important because they’re one of the first things you see when you walk in the room and get a lot of foot traffic.

A bathroom floor will be admired for its shine and color, but you should also consider how well it’ll hold up in this particular environment and how much work it’ll be to maintain. I’ve got six big and shiny ideas for your next bathroom floor makeover.

1. Luxury Vinyl

Luxury vinyl is a new category of flooring that’s going to be big in 2016. This flooring choice combines the high-end look of hardwood (or stone) with the durability of vinyl. One of the most popular options among homeowners is vinyl that mimics the look of wood.

This material is a natural fit in kitchens, bathrooms and laundry rooms because it stands up to moisture, and it looks pretty. A low maintenance floor that’s warm to the touch and soft underfoot? If you ask me, it sounds like an excellent choice for any bathroom!

2. Laminate

Laminate

DIY Tips For Water Heater Maintenance

The water heater is something most of us take for granted, until it suddenly stops working. As cold water imposes reality, we desperately dial a plumber or rush off to get a new water heater. All this might be avoided with some regular preventive maintenance

Water heater maintenance is easy to overlook because the tank just sits there and has no moving parts to worry about. Inside though, two things are constantly attacking your water heater: sediment and rust.

Most steel water heater tanks are lined with glass to prevent rust, but the glass lining is never perfect and constant temperature fluxes cause minute openings. When water eventually penetrates the lining, the tank begins to rust.

Also, the heated water causes calcium carbonate to form. It’s a type of limestone you can probably see inside your old teapot. As it forms, the calcium carbonate settles to the bottom of the tank. In gas-powered tanks, it eventually becomes thick enough to reduce heating efficiency. In electric tanks, it forms a hard crust that renders the element useless.

To keep your water heater operating correctly and extend its life by years, you need to carry out regular maintenance.

How to Drain and Clean the Tank

The first task

7 Bathroom Floor Trends You Need To Know

Your bathroom floor is one of the most important pieces of the home improvement puzzle but it doesn’t always get the proper attention. The floor is one of the key items in any room, and it’s a design aspect that can make or break the style of your bathroom. Since there are so many different styles out there, it’s oftentimes safer to go with what’s trending instead of taking a stab in the dark. While trends give you an idea of what’s stylish, remember to embrace your own taste and go with what looks best in your home. In fact, we highly encourage you to shop around until you find the bathroom floor that’s right for you.

I’m going to share seven bathroom floor trends that are sure to make your bathroom shine. There are a number of significant factors to take into account as you shop for new floors. Some of the big features that come to mind are durability, visual appeal and cleanliness. Also, let’s not forget about cost. Our flooring guide gives homeowners a better idea of what it costs to install materials like hardwood, porcelain, ceramic tile, bamboo, vinyl tiles and laminate.

See below for floor descriptions and

DIY Tips for How To Bleed A Radiator

Bleeding out a radiator is an important step to ensure your home is heated all winter long. Bleeding a radiator ensures your most important winter system won’t go out when you need it most. Fortunately, bleeding out a radiator is very simple. The entire process takes about 10 minutes.

Why Bleed A Radiator

Air is prone to getting trapped a radiator, preventing water from heating.

When To Bleed Radiator

You need to bleed out your radiator anytime you have air trapped inside it. You can determine if you have air in your radiator by feeling the top and bottom. If it is warm on the bottom and cool on top, you need to bleed it out. However, if there is a lot of air trapped inside, you will feel that it is cold all over. You need to bleed it out in this case too.

How To Bleed A Radiator

First, you need a radiator key. Most hardware stores will have a key available on the shelves. There are also many radiators that will work with a simple flat-head screwdriver. You should always turn off your central heating system before proceeding with the following steps. Otherwise, more air can get caught inside the radiator. You also

How To Regrout A Shower

You can clean your shower all you want, but eventually, there comes a time when you’re going to have to remove your old shower grout and replace it with brand new shower grout.

Grout is the material that locks tiles together and keeps moisture from penetrating your expensive tile. It is used throughout the house, but mainly in the bathroom, all over your shower and tile floors. Over time, grout starts to peel and become dirty. Cleaning does help, but fortunately enough, you can also regrout your shower without a big financial debt.

Below, I will show you how to regrout a shower and all the materials you need to complete this time-consuming, yet effective home remodeling project.

Materials Needed To Regrout

Like any project, there are basic materials and tools one needs to complete the job and others that make the job easier to complete. For any regrouting project, make sure you purchase:

  • Utility Knife
  • Grout Remover or Grout Rake
  • Dusk Mask
  • Goggles
  • Masking Paper
  • Vacuum
  • Caulk
  • Grout (waterproof)
  • Grout Spreader or Grout Float
  • Mixing Bucket
  • Putty Knife or Grout Mixing Tool
  • Sponge & Cleaning Supplies

Now, there are certain tools that can make your regrouting project easier and less time-consuming. In

How to Enjoy The End Of Summer

It’s always sad when summer ends. After all, the end of summer means weather starts to get cool and days at the beach quickly dwindle. Let’s not let Mother Nature get in our way of enjoying the what’s left of summer.

There are easy ways to make the most of the final weeks of summer. Whether it’s taking advantage of a nice day in your pool, lounging in a hot tub, reading a good book or even hosting a Sunday morning tailgate, there are dozens of ways to enjoy what’s left of summer.

Host A Pool Party

The weather may be getting cooler, but there is still time to take a dip in that luxurious pool you added years ago. In fact, in September of 2013, the average temperature in the U.S. was 67.3°F, 2.5°F above the 20th century average. That was the sixth warmest September on record and the warmest September since 2005.

I understand that 67°F may not be the best of pool weather, but given all the advantages a day at the pool brings, why not enjoy it? In fact, as you can see at the Benefits of A Swimming Pool, there’s much more to it then taking in the last warm