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Power outages are sometimes out of your hands and what’s worse is all you can really do is wait until power turns back on. Blackouts will surely stop you dead on your tracks, and you end up going through the day with zero accomplishments. Getting a portable generator should be on top of your list.

There are a lot of backup power options for home, let’s run through the top 5 of them.

1.  If you’re only looking to power the most basic appliances, the portable generator can definitely be the one. Top portable generators run on gasoline, diesel, propane, or natural gas and have a power range of about 500W to 17,000W. This means you need not worry about the fridge, dryer, television, water heater, and air conditioner during blackouts. Of course, this type might not be able to the carry the weight of the above mentioned equipment simultaneously, but for areas experiencing short blackouts; this is a perfect choice! 

2.  Unlike the portable generators, standby generator operates automatically and is installed permanently. These are the generators used in businesses as well, so in the event of unfortunate blackouts, it powers up the whole building simultaneously. So for a backup power option at home, this one will do a pretty good job. Although this type can run for weeks on end; it’s important to always schedule a service maintenance for every 200 hours of usage. That includes oil filter change, spark plug, and air filter replacement. It also needs some extra TLC during winter because of wind-blown debris, ice, grass, or snow. The vents on these generators should be free from blockages so it can provide smooth air flow and keep the machine cool.

3.  If you’re quite the handyman, you can actually set this up yourself. This is probably the cheapest and most accessible backup power option. The concept is to have several batteries connected with each other so it forms into one big battery which is called a ‘battery bank’. Then think of a way to connect the bank to your home’s power supply so it gets charged all the time when electricity is up and running. So when it’s time to use the ‘bank’, it’ll be at your service.

4.  Solar panels are a really good investment for your dream home. During a power outage, it can run some basic appliances. While most solar panels have an automatic shut-off valve that restricts the flow of energy from the panel to your home supply due to safety reasons; you can counter this issue by getting a particular inverter that’s designed to continue the energy supply from the panels even when the grid is down. So whenever the power is out, you just need to switch on the junction box which is connected to the inverter. After the inverter checks if there’s enough voltage coming from the panels, power is then passed on from the panel to the junction box. Then you can plug in the necessary appliances!

5.  Another solution, especially if you’re living in a relatively windy area, is a wind generator or wind turbine. It is composed of propeller-like blades which are run by the wind. Then this kinetic energy (wind) goes through a generator shaft and are converted into electric energy. Like solar panels, these also come at a costly price. But considering the clean energy you’re emitting to the environment, I would say it’s an excellent long-term investment.

6.  Choosing the best power back up option really depend on your preference. Mostly several factors are at stake like budget, installation, home area, appliance usage, environment, or frequency and duration of blackouts. But whatever type of generator you choose, you can be sure that you’ll never have to worry about power outages again. It’s a smart idea to always have a backup power on standby whenever an electricity crisis emerges. 

Created 11/14/2018

Your home is subject to the weather and water is harmful when it penetrates your home's exterior envelope. The primary role of gutters is to channel water away from the base of the house where it's likely to collect and find its way inside the foundation. Gutters move rain water away from your home before any problems occur.

There are many ways that gutters protect your home, including:

Without gutters, water can damage landscaping and cause soil erosion around your home.

Water hitting dirt close to the house can create a mess when the dirt splashes back against the siding.

Concentrated water hitting decks and door entrances can splash back against the house causing high moisture levels which can lead to wood rot.

Safety entering and leaving a home may be a problem when people run to avoid a downpour.

Falling water may hit windows and leak, causing water damage inside the walls or on interior walls.

Rain water may find gaps in the siding, and when trapped behind siding, water can support mold growth and other problems.

Repeated exposure to rain water can reduce how long your home's painted surfaces last before they need to be re-painted.

Is essential that you keep your gutters clean and free of debris. Otherwise, the misdirected water can cause significant damage to your home over time, such as stained siding, rotting fascia boards, flooded basements, deteriorating landscaping, and even foundation problems.

Created 09/13/2018

The idea of having a pool in your own backyard will always be incredibly glamorous. But, in those daydreams, one crucial element of pool ownership is often forgotten: the maintenance.

Without a proper maintenance routine, your pool could succumb to a variety of less-than-luxurious conditions – green water, broken filters, and algae build up, just to name a few.

Here are pool maintenance tips that you need to try right now.


  1. Skimming the leaves and debris off of the surface of the water is a no-brainer, but it bears repeating. For a truly pristine pool, skimming should be done daily.

In addition to skimming, you need to scrub the sides of the pool to prevent algae build-up. Thankfully, that doesn’t need to be done quite as often. You can get away with scrubbing once every other week. Just look for any growths and go at them with a scrub brush to keep your siding looking fresh and clean.

  1. Your pool’s filter is responsible for removing impurities from the water – think dirt, leaves, and even small toys.

Most of the time, the pool can be cleaned by turning off the filter, removing the filter cap located on the pool deck, lifting out the filter basket, and removing any debris before replacing everything. It’s best to clean out your filter basket at least once a week.

Once a month you’ll also want to clean out the pipes utilized by your filter system, which you can do by backwashing. To do so, simply set your filter to “backwash,” remove the leaf basket and clean it out. Then turn on your pump and let it run until the waste pipe ejects clear water.

  1. Chemical levels are arguably one of the most important facets of pool maintenance. Improperly balanced water looks murky, irritates skin and eyes, and can cause your pool to become a breeding ground for bacteria.

Testing the water is easy. Simply buy a few testing kits from your local pool store. Fill it with a sample of your pool’s water. Add the provided solution to the testing kit and close the vials. After a few seconds, your sample water will change color and a comparison of the sample water to the colors shown on the testing kit should allow you to determine the current chemical levels. You should adjust the levels, as needed, to achieve an ideal balance.

  1. As important as the chemical composition of the water is, the physical water level is just as important. The levels will naturally fluctuate after a heavy rainstorm or an afternoon of kids doing cannonballs.

You want to maintain a level that is halfway up the opening of your skimmer. If the water is too low, simply use a garden hose to add the necessary amount of water back in. If the water level is too high, rent a submergible pump from a home improvement store to drain the excess.

  1. Most of the time when people think about tennis balls in a pool, they think about playing catch. However, those toys can do double duty.

When swimmers exit the pool, certain oils can get left behind in the water – suntan lotion, hair product, the natural oils produced by our skin. While it’s unpleasant to think about, luckily there’s an easy solution.

Simply throw a tennis ball into the water. The fibers used to make the tennis ball will help absorb the oils and keep them from leaving a slick sheen on top of the water.

  1. The area that surrounds your pool is just as important as the physical structure itself. You can help keep your pool deck shining by power washing.

Power washing, also known as pressure washing, will help get rid of any rust or weather stains that occur over time. You can rent a power washer at any home improvement store.

  1. Sometimes you need to trust an expert. Especially when it comes to your pool’s mechanical equipment – pumps, filters, heating systems – you may not have the proper knowledge for care. At least once a year, have a pool service professional come out to check your devices.

By incorporating these pool maintenance tips into a regular cleaning routine, you can ensure that you’ll spend more time sunbathing than doing chores

Created 09/13/2018

As nice as it is to have a lawn with beautiful green grass, the job of maintaining such a landscape can be difficult and require a considerable amount of work.

It is important to take the proper steps to ensure the grass you’re dedicating so much of your time to is healthy and full of potential.


One of the most important parts of growing a green lawn is making sure your grass has adequate water. However, your grass doesn’t require as much water as some might think.

Obviously as spring turns into summer, the weather will get hotter and grass will need more water to thrive. But even then, the rate of watering your lawn shouldn’t be too dramatic.


One thing everyone with a lawn has in common is a healthy disdain for native weeds. But if you haven’t initiated a pre-emergence weed plan yet, you may have to get comfortable with a few unwelcome weeds growing in your yard.

The key to preventing weeds is to stop them before they start growing. It may be too late to stop a lot of the weed growth this summer, but it’s never too late to look ahead to future seasons.

Don’t cut too short

Cutting your grass down so far as to expose soil will allow weeds and pests to flourish in your yard and make it very difficult for your grass to recover.

Try to mow when it’s dry

This isn’t always possible, especially if you hit a patch of bad weather where it rains every day for a week, but it is preferable to mow when it’s dry outside to help prevent your grass clippings from clumping, which can lead to uneven cuts and potentially killing your grass if large clumps are not picked up after you mow. Wet grass also increases your risk of slipping while mowing, which can be extremely dangerous with a push mower.

Mix up your pattern

If you always mow in the same pattern, you will begin to create noticeable ruts with your mower and compact the soil in a manner which will make it harder for your grass to grow. Additionally, you will develop a grain in the grass which only goes in one direction, causing the grass to lean rather than stand up straight.

Created 09/13/2018

Taking care of your roof is one of the most important tasks. It can be easy to forget about your roof because it is a sort of out of sight.

Some of the most common roofing problems include:

Lack of Maintenance - You should schedule an annual inspection of your roofing. Over time there are many things that go wrong with your roof and you need to be on top of taking care of it on a regular basis. Mildew, sagging or large holes are usually clear indicators of a roof that has been neglected.

Improper Repairs - This is one of the worst offenses because it means the homeowner actually hired someone to get the job done. Unfortunately, there is not much you can do to prevent it except make sure whoever you hire is reputable.

Storm Related Damage - Any season can cause storm related damage. Hail, rain, heavy winds, lightning or even broken branches can all cause major roofing damage. Make sure following any weather related events you have your roof inspected for possible damages.

Roof Leaks - No matter what type of roof you have, if a leak develops you have a problem. Your roofing is meant to act like a lid on a container. The purpose of this lid is to keep everything inside dry. Once a leak compromises that all you can hope to do is fix it in time to minimize the damage.

Moisture - Moisture will lead to mold and mildew and all of this will begin to cause rot. The worst part is that it can develop into a deeper problem if it begins to also get into the walls and pose a threat to the structure of the house.

One of the best ways to prevent problems with your roof is to only work with reputable companies. If at all possible also ask for references so you can speak to someone who used this company before.

Created 09/13/2018

Staircases in your home can create some great architectural design to your atmosphere. Staircases may be small or large but are equally important no matter the size. Staircases connect the floors in your home; they act as a huge design statement for many rooms in your household.

1. Arched staircase
Because of the arched staircase's graceful appearance, it has almost exclusively been placed in entryways and foyers. This is certainly the staircase to choose when looking for a centerpiece or grand first impression of the home. The disadvantage that comes with this type of stairs is that it is the most difficult of all to plan and construct, since all of its details, including the handrails need to be curved.

2. Straight and simple
Straight stairs are by far the most widespread and popular, they are convenient, functional and the most cost-effective. If you're looking for the most practical solution, a straight staircase will never be the wrong choice. It is especially suited to minimalist homes and interiors due to its intrinsic simplicity. It is, however, significant to note these type of stairs take up much linear space and does not create a barrier between floors, which usually creates some privacy.

3. In the corners

It is also often referred to as L-shaped stairs and can have more than one landing when more than one change in orientation is required. Quarter landing stairs are very convenient and are also safer than straight stairs, due to the landing, which provides a place of rest in moving up or down. This staircase is ideal for corners, as it easily conforms to the space of the house's design. It is a very logical use of space, and can be much more visually interesting than a straight line. The downside is that it is more difficult to construct, and more support is usually necessary, rendering it less cost-effective.

4. Winder

Winder stairs throw caution to the wind and eliminates the landing in rotations of either 90 or 180 degrees. The rotation is compensated for by wedge-shaped stairs around the turns. This is a visually interesting type of staircase, as it produces gentle, fluent lines and a seamless transition from one level to the next. Characteristics like these make it popular in modern homes, and it can be easily installed in a variety of spaces. The winder staircase requires less space, but is complex in design and demands very accurate calculations and planning. The tapering of the wedge-shaped treads also make the turns harder to navigate and a hazard for missing a step.

5. Spiraling down
The spiral staircase is certainly the most interesting design. It has a helical arc, resembling the shape of a spring. All of the treads are wedge-shaped, but as opposed to the winder and arched staircases, these treads are all consistent in size. There is a central vertical post around which the treads radiate. Spiral stairs are found mostly in city loft apartments, due to its economical use of space, ease of installation, and limitations of capacity. A spiral staircase is not really suited to frequent use, as it has a confined area which is difficult to move upon. Only one person can navigate the stairs at any one time, and it is difficult to carry large items up or down on it. This is also why many building codes do not allow the use of spiral stairs as primary ingress to a full-sized second floor.

Created 09/13/2018

The kitchen is usually the focus point of the home. It is a place where everyone gathers for conversations, meals and homework. Kitchens become the collect-all of the home. It is a place where appliance and kitchen accessories sit on shelves or countertops and gather dust. It is time to clean through all of that clutter and reorganize your kitchen. There are many great kitchen storage solutions that you can find at any organization or home store.

Here are some easy steps to organize your kitchen.

Pull everything out of each cabinet and go through it. Most kitchens are short on storage space, so the goal is to only have things you love and use.

After your cabinets are all empty, consider what is best for you in terms of how to group items.

Now that you have groups laid out on the floor, decide where each item should be stored. This way you avoid going back and forth across the kitchen for the things you need just to make your morning beverage.

Containerize inside your cabinets. Use clear plastic shoeboxes to store food that is in tiny boxes such as gelatin or pudding mix.

Discard containers without lids, and store the remaining plastic containers either with the lids on them, or store the lids in another larger container so they all stay together.

Make use of vertical space. Place hooks underneath cabinets. This will free up a lot of cabinet space. Keep in mind that any space you can use to hang something will free up flat space inside a cabinet.

Use rotating trays to hold things such as oils, vinegars and other cooking ingredients, as well as spices, vitamins or medications.

Use drawer dividers for cooking utensil drawers and your junk drawers.

Get a magnetic sorter box to hang on the side of the refrigerator for coupons, take out menus, a notepad and pen or other papers that tend to accumulate on the countertops.

If you put your trash out at the curb one night a week, use that time to clean out your refrigerator each week to. Your refrigerator will house only current items and will be less cluttered and it only takes a few minutes.

If you invest the time and energy into decluttering and organizing your kitchen.   It is an investment that will pay of it happiness for years to come.

Created 09/13/2018

Walk in closets have always been a symbol of luxury, but those days are over. With some good design choices, you can have and enjoy the walk in closet of your dreams. The first thing to do is create the most functional space possible.

Let’s start with these practical steps:

Select a Walk-In Closet Shape
An “L” shaped closet. Occupy two of the walls of the room leaving you space to move.
A “U” shaped closet. Occupy three walls for maximum storage.
A straight walk in closet. The straight closet design allows for his and hers sides and works well in smaller areas.

Add Good Storage
Most of us have lots of accessories, not to mention a wardrobe of seasonal items that need to be stored most of the year. Having dedicated storage for all clothing and accessories makes it easier and less stressful to find the items when you need them. Adding plenty of drawers to your closet design is the best way to keep items organized and dust-free.
The right organizational plan consisting of shelving, hanging space, drawers and cabinets keeps a closet looking neat and uncluttered.

Choosing a Style is Key

Review walk in closet ideas and decide on a style for your closet. Contemporary styling is the best for a clean, uncluttered space to display your clothes beautifully. Have a definite style in mind to keep a walk in closet looking cohesive and stick with it!

A Dressing Island
If you have space, a dressing item is the perfect spot to drop all your things until you use them again. Islands come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Be sure to select one with plenty of storage drawers and shelves to maximize storage. Add trays or boxes to your island top to catch smaller items like jewelry, pocket change or keys.

A Seating Area for Dressing
For your walk-in closet to be truly functional and a space you want to enjoy, you’ll need seating. An ottoman is the perfect solution. You can lay out outfits on the ottoman, or sit on it to get your shoes on. For additional storage, try a storage ottoman that opens up.

A Vanity Section
Regardless of the amount of space available, you can add one to your walk in closet. The key components to a vanity area include:

  • A countertop
  • A mirror.
  • Dedicated lighting. Use a lamp, a lighting bar or whatever lighting works best in your closet’s vanity space
  • Drawers. We recommend drawers for easily storing all make-up and grooming tools when not in use
  • A stool or seat.

Artful Organization
Once you’ve invested in a walk-in closet upgrade, it’s time to showcase your items like a pro. Some ways to artfully organize your closet include:

  • Grouping items like bags or shoes in one section
  • Color coordinating all clothes and accessories
  • Creating vignettes or combinations of your favorite items for display
  • Adding favorite framed personal images or inspirational photos.
  • Including favorite art and fashion books on your shelves and counters
  • Using a coordinated series of clothing hangers

Besides artfully displaying your items using the tips above, don’t over-do it, keep displays minimal and allow for open space to shine through. The saying, “less is more” is the secret to beautiful closet displays.

Created 09/13/2018

If you are renovating an existing bath or starting from zero, you need consider a few things before selecting a new vanity to avoid unwanted installation-day surprises.

1. You need find the Right Size
Your bathroom floor plan and existing plumbing, are the baselines for determining where the vanity should go and how big it can be.
Width: Check that existing elements like doorways and built-ins will be able to open properly.
Depth: Leave enough space for traffic lanes so protruding corners won't catch you.
Height: Factor in faucet height if you have existing medicine cabinets, mirrors, or light fixtures.

2. Number of Sinks
The max width your vanity can be will decide how many sinks you can have: 48 inches is the common threshold for two sinks, though it's sometimes possible to fit both in smaller sizes. If you're close to 48 inches, consider how much counter space you'd like, as adding another sink diminishes the usable surface.

3. Mounting Options
For the easiest install, pick the mounting option that matches your current vanity—so the plumbing lines will be where you need them.
Freestanding options are the most common and offer a range of foot styles. Wall mount or floating vanities skew modern and generally offer less storage given their cropped height. Corner units fill a specific need and are limited to one sink.

4. Choosing a Style
With your measurements set it's time to think about the details, including sink types, materials, and whether a backsplash or faucet is included.
Sinks are almost always included with the vanity and come in four main styles:
Under mount: Installed underneath the counter for a seamless top.
Vessel: Sits on top of the counter; available in a variety of shapes including bowl and square.
Drop in: Top mounted so the edges rest on the counter but the basin is inset.
Integrated: The countertop includes the sink itself in one continuous piece.

5. Materials
Vanity base: Most often wood, but varies based on the desired finish.
Countertop: Stone or ceramic are the most popular.
Sink: Can match or vary from the countertop.
Hardware: The cabinet knobs or pulls.

6. Backsplash and Faucet
There are styles that include a backsplash in the same material as the countertop. For most vanities, you purchase the faucet separately. However, some vanities do include the faucets in one set style and finish.

Created 09/13/2018
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