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

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

Preventing Mold In Your Home

Mold is sneaky. It hides in dark places and has a ravenous appetite. It can be harmful to your health and property and can be difficult to remove. While you may be focused on preventing mold in your basement, it’s important to recognize that it can grow in just about any other place in your home.

There are over 100,000 different species of this living organism called fungus. Each has different characterizing features and varying toxicity. All, however, require moisture to grow and organic matter to derive energy. If your skin is crawling thinking about what might be lurking behind your walls or under your carpeting, you should do an inspection. Obviously, prevention is preferred, but you’ll want to be sure your home is spore-free first

Professionals are available to perform a comprehensive mold inspection and identification process, but unless you have already discovered a major mold problem, you can perform the initial investigation yourself. Be sure to protect your eyes, nose and skin from spore exposure by using goggles, a mask/respirator and gloves.

Before you begin, think about any past water leaks or floods your home has experienced. As mold thrives in dark, damp places, it’s important to recall where leaks originated.

5 Décor Tricks That Will Make Your Kitchen Appear Larger

Hummer homes are a thing of the past, but shrinking square footage need not spell the death of the dream kitchen. In fact, intuitively designed compact kitchens are actually a pleasure to work in. And when decorated correctly, you can create an illusion of space so the hub of the home feels as airy as it is efficient.

Let There Be Light

‘Let there be light’ is the first commandment of any small space, particularly kitchens. Inadequate lighting constricts the room resulting in a dark, dingy and depressing workplace – not exactly what you envision for the heartbeat of the home. So, be it natural or artificial, bring on the light!

If your small space is graced with a window, maximize the natural light by minimizing window treatments and keeping the sill clean. Something as simple as unobstructed sunbeams can open up a room in a way one would think only a full on renovation can

If, however, your kitchen does not have significant sources of natural light, make sure your other lighting sources are ample and on point. A relatively small fixture may technically light up the room, but spreading the wealth with under the counter and concentrated task lighting in key areas

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

Noisy Pipes

Noisy pipes can be caused by several factors. Let’s start with what is commonly known as water hammer. Water rushing through the pipe and out the faucet moves with speed and force. When you shut off the faucet, the water flow is brought to an abrupt halt. But that energy has to go somewhere. So normally in the wall behind each hot and cold faucet is an air chamber in the pipe. It used to be about 10 inches of pipe soldered vertically. Then when the rushing water was stopped it would push up that vertical pipe where it would hit a cushion of air in the pipe. And that would prevent the water force from causing the pipes to rattle, or hammer. Now there are commercial air cushions that are attached to the pipe in the same place and do the same job.

Hammering can develop because over years the air in that little vertical riser is lost, and thus the cushioning effect is lost. You can often correct this by shutting off the main water, opening all faucets and then draining the whole house from the lowest faucet. When you restore water, air will be again pushed into the

Types of Floor Tile

While hardwood floors have certainly come of age these past few years, tile flooring is still the most popular flooring option. With its versatile nature and natural looks in a kitchen or bathroom, it’s hard to imagine a home without decorative tile.Given its vast popularity, tile manufacturers have done their best to give homeowners as many options as possible. However, some present unique advantages, in price and function, that others don’t.Below, I will list the major types of tile flooring, as well as some of their characteristics, costs, advantages and disadvantages.

Ceramic Tile

Of all the tile types, ceramic offers far and away the most design possibilities and many experts agree that it’s the best bang for your buck. Ceramic tile is also known for its resistance to stain and colorful applications.

According to our ceramic tile (material) cost estimator, this decorative tile is made by mixing natural mineral clays and water. Typical tiles are 1/2” to 3/4″ thick and most commonly measure 4X4”. Different sizes are available, but are less common. The finish can be smooth and glossy or made with a less shiny matte coating. Some tiles are left with a more natural

11 Small Kitchen Ideas That Make A Big Difference

You love cooking shows and you wish you could cook like a top chef. Ideally, your kitchen should be big enough to accommodate a variety of appliances, not to mention, a huge island that allows you to prepare meals with your significant other and children. However, given that the average home size is shrinking, your kitchen is probably more like a cramped nightmare.

Don’t let your small kitchen limit your culinary dreams. There are tons of small kitchen design ideas that can make your tiny kitchen more efficient and look bigger. Check out some of my favorite ideas and learn how to make the most of your small kitchen.

Keep Work Triangle in Mind

The kitchen work triangle may sound like a cliché. Yet, we can’t deny how helpful the concept is when it comes to enhancing the workflow in a small kitchen. The work triangle connects your three main work areas—the sink, stove and refrigerator. The distance between any two should be two easy steps. This layout allows you to keep your major appliances in an efficient work zone, making cooking a much easier task in your small kitchen.

Don’t know how to set up your work triangle? Talk to some local pros.


DIY Tips For How To Remove Vinyl Flooring, Old Linoleum Or Glue

One of the most frustrating home remodeling tasks is trying to remove an old linoleum or vinyl floor. Even when the linoleum is pulled off, things only get worse. Now you’re faced with gobs of old glue that seem harder than meteorites all over the floor.

Before getting depressed while reading this article, remember that there are a few ways around this formidable task.

Alternative Approaches

One common alternative to removing old linoleum or vinyl floors is to put a new one right over it. If the existing floor is still smooth or can be smoothed with a few patches of FixAll, then the new floor can be laid directly on top of the old.

In some cases, a layer of 1/4-inch plywood is laid over the old floor to provide a smooth base and then the new resilient floor is laid on that. In still another approach, the old floor is floated with a self-leveling concrete that is about 1/8-inch thick when dry. The new floor is put on that.

When adding a new floor, particularly when adding plywood or self-leveling concrete, consider that this process is going to raise your floor noticeably. The most important concern is that it will not connect smoothly