Livingston Reporting - page 349

Advantages to Window Pane Replacement

Do you live in a newer home that was built during the big boom in new construction? Are your window panes thin due to the builder cutting cost? Do you wish your windows had blinds between the glass? This is all possible with window pane replacement. Window pane replacement is becoming a popular option for buyers who have sound window frames but are looking for more energy efficient windows. There are several options available in window pane replacement to give you energy savings and curb appeal. Along with these savings people are looking into the conveniences of luxury features such as blinds encased between the panes of glass. Below is a look into the benefits gained from replacing window panes.

We know that single pane windows are not nearly as energy efficient as windows that are double or triple pane. Old windows lead to a loss of heat and higher energy costs. Consider adding extra window panes to improve your windows. Also gas-filled windows are popular and have been proven to lower energy bills and also help keep your homes temperature comfortable and consistent.

It is obvious that if a window pane is cracked or chipped that it is in need of replacement. If air is allowed to filter through the crack you are not minimizing your energy costs. What happens in these instances is that air is allowed to filter in through this direct entrance and exit to your home. In the winter the warm air will be sucked out and in the summer the opposite will occur. Another benefit of replacing window panes that have damage is cosmetic. It gives the appearance that you don’t take much pride in the up keep of your home.

Privacy is also an advantage of getting new window panes. Not only can you have blinds between the glass installed but now most panes of glass come with a reflective coating that helps increase privacy. Having blinds between the glass not only helps with privacy they ease your life. No more cleaning blinds. No more pets and children destroying the cords or bending the blinds because it is all housed in the new window panes. They eliminate the maintenance involved in any type of window treatment and ease your life. Window pane replacement with blinds between the glass and filled with gas are the way to go for ease and energy efficiency.

Sometimes it is not economical or needed to replace an entire window to add value and savings to your home. Often window panes can be replaced adding energy savings and curb appeal. It is defiantly a more economical approach to updating your current windows with just as much benefit. Make sure this is an option you explore before purchasing replacement windows for your new home.

Replacement Window: An Easy Renovation

We are looking at purchasing a new home. There are so many things to consider in making this purchase. We love our current home and have installed replacement windows, siding and landscaping that we adore. The problem is that there just isn’t enough space for entertaining inside or out. It is becoming evident that we have outgrown our cozy home and that even with all the work that has gone into this investment we need to start looking for something with a lot more space. The good thing is that we have renovating experience and the market is fair for what we are looking at. All of those things are in our favor. We are also aware at how we can make certain renovations ourselves that others consider large deal busters.

In looking for a new home many potential buyers get caught up in new roofs, replacement windows and other purchases that they feel are deal breakers. We are fortunate to have the skills under our belt to tackle any home renovation project the new house will lead us too. If new home buyers took a second and looked into things such as replacement windows they would see just how easy it is to replace them. Now more than ever it has become one of the few home improvement project that people can look forward to. It will not be a deal breaker anymore after you review these handy steps in dealing with the purchase and installation of your new replacement windows.

First you will need to locate reputable replacement window dealers in your area. You will want to get quotes from at least three dealers. Compare the type of windows offered, the quality of the product, the ease of installation, available warranties and how satisfied previous consumers have been with the service provided. You will want to make sure that you premeasured all of the windows that you are interested in replacing and take your measurements in when you are speaking with the dealer.

When you are taking measurements you will want to measure your existing windows thoroughly. Make sure your measurements include the left jamb to the right jamb from the bottom, middle and top of the window. It should be the same but overtime windows often warp and shrink so measure everywhere to be safe. You will want to use the same technique to measure the height of the window from the inside jamb to the inside window sill. Make sure when you are ordering your windows that you specify that these are exact measurements.

The next step after you have ordered the new windows and received your replacement windows is to take off the old sash and remove the jamb liner from the existing windows. This should be done one window at a time so that if you run in to a window that needs extra installation time you don’t leave your home open to the elements.

From here you prep the existing window frame and the area for the new window. You will add a new jamb liner, spray in a low expansion foam insulation to seal the area within the wall if any gaps are present and caulk the opening for the window to be placed in. You will be installing your new windows before you know it.

The installation of the window involves placing the window and fastening it in loosely at first. You will want to shim around the window making sure that you have a completely level replacement window. If the window is not completely level you leave room for movement and air leaks. Once all the shims are in place and the window is completely level fasten all screws for permanent placement. That is it. You are done with your replacement window installation. Now all you need to do is caulk the inside frame and add a finish to the interior of the window. This finish can be paint or stain but you cannot leave your windows without any sealing touches. If you leave room for the window frame unsealed your replacement windows will have a shorter lifetime then if it had been sealed.

Congratulations you have just learned to replace a window. Now when you are staring at your dream home but see the windows could be replaced you won’t just walk away. Pull on some boots and a hard hat and get to work replacing them.

Water Extraction: Caring for Your Carpet Investment

Buying a home is such an adventure. It is so exciting to walk in to a world of complete possibility. Most homes that are purchased need tweaking. You buy a house that you like and turn it into a home by the improvements you invest in. For instance, when we purchased our home we loved the open air feel, cozy kitchen and layout of the bedrooms in relation to the other rooms in the house. However there were things cosmetically that we were unhappy about. We needed paint, stain, cleaner and carpet. The only thing that mechanically was needed was a water softener and insulation was needed but that wasn’t too major. We thought we were getting off pretty cheap. That was until we priced out carpet for a 1400 square foot home.

Carpet is pricey. It is one of the largest investments that you can cosmetically make that doesn’t involve a renovation. We ended up with a beautiful frieze carpet that will hopefully stand the test of time, two kids and three cats. There were so many things we learned during the installation process that made us aware of how fragile this investment we were making was. If we did not properly care for our purchase with proper cleaning techniques we would end up making this investment more often than we would like too. I am not only talking about vacuuming and spot removal but also the cleaning that will need to be done by a professional.

Professional carpet cleaners are not all the same. We learned this right away. There are many different types of cleaning methods and many types of professional carpet cleaners. Researching the different techniques made us realize that without a professional who knew our carpet and knew what cleaning method would work best we could end up with a big mess. The most important factor, we found out, is the professionals method of water extraction. Without proper water extraction and drying water sits beneath the carpet and soaks into the padding leaving room for mold, mildew and carpet delimitation.

There are five major methods professional carpet cleaners use to clean carpets. A carpet professional should come out to your home, inspect your carpet and then suggest a cleaning method that would best suit your need.

The hot/cold water extraction method is what most people relate to when speaking about carpet cleaning. This method involves using a carpet cleaning machine along with detergent to “steam clean” the carpet. As the machine shoots out the water solution there is a vacuum inside the machine pulling out the dirt, water and detergent. The major drawback to this method is if done incorrectly the carpet and padding can become saturated. Also if all the detergent is not pulled from the carpet you run the risk of the detergent becoming a dirt magnet. Your carpet professional must make sure to completely dry all the areas cleaned. This is a top priority in making sure that your carpet stays as good as new. No one wants to deal with mold and mildew removal especially when carpet is involved.

The next method is a dry extraction method. This method involves taking detergent and brushing it into the carpet with a machine especially designed for this. The soil and dirt adheres to the chemicals and then is removed by vacuuming the detergent and dirt away. The problem is that this method is not always effective for areas that are heavily soiled. The foam extraction method is similar but instead of a dry detergent you use foam. The foam is vacuumed out while it is still damp.

Another method is the rotary foam method. A machine pushes a foam solution into your carpet and gently works it deep into the fibers. Then a second process takes the dirty foam and wet vacuums it out. This method also involves making sure that the carpet is thoroughly dry before resuming regular activity. Water extraction will be the key in keeping your carpets clean.

Finally the last method in carpet cleaning is the absorbent-pad technique. Make sure if you choose this technique that your carpet professional is trained. It is easy to ruin carpet if you are not skilled at this technique. The absorbent pad method involves spraying cleaners into the fibers of your carpet and letting them set. During this time it is said that the chemicals will pull the dirt from within the carpet fibers out. A machine with a large spinning absorbent pad will then pick up the chemical and dirt. If you have a carpet with a deep pile this might not be the best technique for your carpets. If not done properly you can end up with a mess.

Properly caring for one of the biggest investment in cosmetic repairs to your new home is a must. Make sure you ask for referrals and that you discuss why the technique that they choose is the correct method for your carpet. It is best to ask for the opinion of at least three carpet professionals. Remember this is only for the first time you have your carpets cleaned. If you find someone who you are happy than each year you will be able to call them up and have them back out. Remember that this investment in your home is upwards of five thousand dollars don’t trust it to just anyone do the research.

Local Artists Website Premiere

Mowatt
Darlene Mowatt shares her inspiration in each piece of art she creates. CPS has launched www.DarleneMowatt.com, Darlene’s website, so that she can share her art with you. Visit Darlene’s site and enjoy each of her unique pieces of art. From her newly launched site you will have access not only to her portfolio but also to other projects Darlene is working on. Come check out her artistic talent today at www.DarleneMowatt.com.

Excitement for Gamers – Gamerz Edge Website Unveiled

Gamerz Edge Logo

Gamerz Edge is now fully live and open for business. The first game to be supported will be Forza3, played exclusively on XBOX. Initial support for Forza 3 will include power to weight and torque to weight ratio calculation tables. They are intended to help players select an optimized combination of engine upgrade components for a given target value. Performance tables can now be purchased for twenty selected cars. Customers can request additional performance tables using the VOTE page.
http://www.gamerz-edge.net/

Window Cleaning: The Spring Cleaning Nightmare

Who actually looks forward to spring cleaning? Spring Cleaning represents the time of year when all the creepy crud that has been living under your bed is revealed and sucked up into the vacuum. As the spring cleaning begins we tend to see that when let go the house will eventually turn into one large dust bunny. This is the time of year when we vow that we will never let the dirt overcome us again. We tend to be extreme when spring cleaning. Maybe it is due to the fact that we are finally free of the layers of the winter season. We believe that this abundant cleaning once a year will cleanse our souls and prepare us for the coming months of open windows and guests that join us for summer fun. Each room has different needs for a deep clean. Some rooms can forgo a spring cleaning with regular maintenance throughout the year.

Let’s start in the bathroom. This is one area that should never need a major spring cleaning. Regular washing of the tub and tile will keep mold and soap scum at bay. Use a solution of vinegar and water and you will keep your tiles and tub surrounds sparkling year round. Mirrors can easily be wiped down with window cleaner once a week. The only area that you might tend to have a pack rat tendency is the medicine closet. During your spring cleaning, if you haven’t kept up on this throughout the year, pitch unused medicine, bath soaps and things that will not be used that have accumulated.

Kitchens are a spring cleaning nightmare. The kitchen has been spots where crud creeps up and overtakes without much notice on our part. Start in the refrigerator where you will want to purge unused sauces and dressing. You might want to have a sink full of hot water and soap ready because the shelves will be sticky and in need of a good wipe down. You will want to move the refrigerator so that you can clean behind it and underneath it. Use extra care when removing the front panel to dust away the allergens caught underneath the fridge in the coils. The same care needs to be done with the stove. You will want to use a stove cleaner in order to remove buildup inside of the stove. Spring cleaning is the time that cupboards and pantries should be wiped down and food that has expired should be thrown out.

Bedrooms are where the most dust and allergens collect. Furniture is often not moves in these areas and will need to be in spring cleaning. You will want to make sure to flip mattresses and purge items out of your drawers and closets. In the kids rooms you will want to pitch broken or toys that are no longer played with away. The same hold true as you are getting out the summer clothing items if the item will not fit for winter wear next year donate it now. There is no reason to hold onto it for a year only to donate it the following year.

The entire house often could use a spring cleaning. Make sure not to neglect window cleaning and regular household vacuuming. You will want to wipe down and touch up walls. Have a professional carpet cleaner out to remove soiled carpet. Do a thorough dusting of ceiling fans, window sills, moldings and picture frames. Spring cleaning doesn’t only refer to the inside of your home either. Make sure you are doing window cleaning on the outside of windows before you put your freshly cleaned screens back in place. Freshen up patio furniture and siding with a good power washing. A good purge and clean is also recommended for the shed and garage areas. It is a good chance to reevaluate the safety of chemicals in these areas and to throw anything out that is not in complete working order.

Spring cleaning doesn’t have to be so overwhelming. Make sure to keep up on maintenance in your home throughout the year. When it does come time to do that once over massive cleaning make it a weekend job not a month long process. Breaking down the individual rooms and processing little jobs throughout the months can also help make this process less tedious. Who says you have to wait to clean the windows or wash the cupboards until spring?

Carpet Cleaning: ‘Tis the Season for Carpet Cleaning

Yes you can still have your carpets cleaned in the winter. Popular belief would have us believing that all carpets need to be professional cleaned once a year during spring cleaning. There are so many reasons that this thought has changed in recent years. Winter remains the top times that carpet professionals would like to have consumers have them out to clean the carpets.

Carpets take the most abuse in the summer months. With all the bbq and outdoor parties comes traffic for your carpet. People are not taking their shoes off each and every time they enter to refill their lemonade and if they did bare feet could be even worse. How many times have you seen someone with flip flops on all day with clean feet? Never! Feet that have been housed in flip flops all day tend to be filthy. Imagine twenty pairs of those feet tracking dirt in your house all summer. Of course your carpet will have dirt that has been ground in after an entire season of this.

What you really want to avoid is waiting too long to clean your carpet. Spots from summer will become more and more prevalent as the months turn into fall. The fibers from your carpet will begin breaking down from the oils and dirt and the last thing you want to do is wait until spring to have your carpets cleaned.

One of the great things about getting your carpets cleaned in the winter months is that you can pretty much pick your appointment time. During the spring, when everyone has the itch to clean, you can wait up to two weeks before an appointment time is available. When spring hits the demand is so high that even working at top capacity most carpet professionals will have to turn away business. That favorite carpet cleaner you have will most likely be booked into the coming months. You definitely don’t want to have freshly cleaned carpet in the summer. The humidity is so high that the carpet will have an incredibly difficult time thoroughly drying which can cause mold issues later on down the road.

Carpets stay cleaner when you have professionals out in the winter. The dust and allergens are not as prevalent in the winter months. This is good for people with severe allergens because all of the allergens that were blown in and have saturated the carpet all through the spring and summer will be washed away. This will leave you with an environment that is enclosed to the outside allergens. The carpet, having been professionally cleaned, will be allergen free for the entire winter. This will allow for a greater quality of life throughout the winter months for those who have sensitivity to allergens.

In the winter months the carpet tends to dry quicker after being professionally cleaned. Without humidity the moisture that is in the carpet will evaporate at a faster pace. High powered fans, along with the homes heating elements will ensure thoroughly dried carpets. For you this means less worry about mildew, mold, or carpet delimitation from the carpets staying wet for too long.

Since carpet cleaning professionals are usually less busy in the winter months consumers will likely be able to get the best deal when scheduling their carpet cleaning for the winter months. Not only will you get all the benefits above from cleaning your carpets in the winter you can also save money doing it. How much better can getting your carpet in the winter get?

Tile Cleaning: Getting Through the Scum

Cleaning tile is one of life’s most tedious, time consuming jobs. With all that being said it can get easier. If you are cleaning backsplashes in the kitchen, tile in the tub, or the tiled entry ways a few easy tricks of the trade could make the job much easier. The first thing you need to be aware of as a master cleaner is that tile inevitably gets dirty indifferent ways. Determine the root cause of the dirt and scum. It will be easier to pick the tool that will be the most effective if you know what battle you are fighting.

In the kitchen you will often find tile cleaning to be less of a hassle if you spend time throughout the time in the kitchen cleaning up food splatters as they happen. Waiting until the food has become an art form in your kitchen will present many grout and tile cleaning issues. For most kitchens cleaning with a simple mixture of vinegar and water, equal parts, will be sufficient. Spray on the cleaning solution and let it set and the stains should be easy to wipe off. For more stubborn stains a paste of baking soda and water can be applied. It is easier to get the tile and grout clean scrubbing in small circles rather than spreading the dirt around moving the debris about within the area using an up and down motion. Rinse the areas that you are cleaning with a straight water mixture and sop up the extra moisture with a clean sponge.

In the bathroom soap scum is a little bit harder to remove from between the grout and to get off the tiles. You can start by using household cleaners for soap scum removal. Most likely if the scum is visible you will need to use something a little bit stronger but we will discuss this in a minute. Household cleaners are available for purchase at most stores. Most over the counter cleaners that clean tile and grout will also help eliminate the buildup of mold and mildew in bathrooms. Another trick is to use a steam cleaner before actually using cleaning products. The steam will help to loosen some of the caked on grime allowing the products to get a better handle on the stains.

If you find that your cleaners are not getting the tiles and grout within your home as clean as you would like them to be go ahead and try a commercial grade cleaner. Commercial cleaners contain ingredients that are harsh to breathe in. You will want to make sure that you are using gloves and an air filtration masking when using these chemicals. If you would like to use a more natural solution that is equally strong try hydrogen peroxide or chlorine bleach. Make sure you dilute these chemicals thoroughly before starting the cleaning process. You will also want to make sure you are reading all labels to ensure that you don’t ruin your tile or grout sealants.

The final process in cleaning tile and grout to make it look fresh and new is to apply a few coats of sealer. Sealer enables your grout to have a defense against stains. Once your tile and grout is clean keep up on routine cleanings. This will avoid having to spend hours removing stains that have set in. Also, it is important to maintain the grout by continuing to apply a sealer once a year. Add grout sealing to your list during spring cleaning so that you can avoid staining.

Windows with Blinds between the Glass: Getting your Renovations in Order

Deciding to renovate your home is a huge decision for most home owners. What renovations are going to give us the most bang for our buck? Is there any sort of order we should do renovations in? We worry that we are choosing universally accepted tiles and fixtures. We wonder if we should start with the ceilings, floors or walls. Renovating is different for all home owners and for all contractors there is a different set of guidelines. When renovating make sure that your contractor helps guide you through renovations and does not order you through steps. If you want you lay the tile before you choose wall color just to get a feel for the room then don’t let anything the contractor tells you detour you. If it makes sense to you then the renovations are being done correctly. Here is a guideline to follow when starting to plan for your homes renovations.

Outline your project
So many projects have been derailed because of poor outlining. When deciding to jump into renovations make sure you have a simple plan of attack. Sketch out what you hope the finished project will look like. Create a list of items that are must have, things you are willing to compromise on and absolute no’s. Get all of your ducks in a row with local and state permits. Decide what you want to hire out and what you would like to tackle on your own. Lastly, but most importantly make sure your funding is adequate for your project.

Outside in
When beginning any remodel project take a look at the outside projects first. Inspect the foundation of your project. If required make repairs to the home structurally before continuing with any renovations. It is also wise to make any changes in the roof lines before starting inside renovations. You will want to ensure that inside walls and joists are strong enough to withstand the prevailing projects. Windows are a big part of most remodeling jobs. Windows with blinds between the glass have become a popular renovation feature. Make sure you install all windows and repair and install siding before jumping to the interior.

Annihilate
You will want to demolish anything you are not saving when beginning the interior projects. This way you will not have to do demolition in the kitchen after you have finished the bedroom. Any and all demolition should take place prior to beginning the renovation process. In order to start the process you will want to rent rubbish containers to keep the mess of demolishing your home to a minimum. Be as careful as possible when removing any surfaces that you are unsure if they are covered by lead paint. During this phase of renovation it is best to not occupy your home. Demolish as much as possible if you will not be living in the house.

Construct
This is the point in your renovation project where you will want to be ready with the structural elements of your renovation. Whether you are knocking in walls or building them up it is a good time to begin those projects. If you are adding windows, such as the windows with blinds between the glass you will want to enlarge existing window frames. This will ensure that any new walls being built or taken down will still provide symmetry for your renovations. During the construct stage you will also want to add support beams to existing structures especially if you plan on adding weight to your structure.

Guts
Don’t forget about any new electrical, ducts and plumbing that needs to be run for your renovation project. With the walls exposed it will be much easier to put the guts of the systems into place. You also need to have the inspectors out while the walls are down. This will make any necessary repairs easier to fix.

Insulate and drywall
Now that you have all the guts in your walls it is time to add insulation and drywall. Insulation will progress rather quickly while the process of drywall may take up to a week. In order to achieve perfection and seamless wall surfaces it will take time.

Floors and finishing touches
After all the major construction is done and the walls are up it is time to install flooring. You will want to install flooring before the finishing touches on paint and moldings are put in. It is easy during flooring to bump into walls. You would not want brand new moldings and paint jobs to be destroyed by these preventable blemishes. Trust me it is easier and less expensive to cover the new flooring with drop clothes rather than redoing paint and molding.

Extensive renovations on your home take time and money. When beginning any major home improvement project plan ahead. You will need an extra stash of emergency money for the unexpected repairs that pop up along the way. No one plans for their pipes to leak but you never know what you will come across when you are in the annihilation phase. The best advice I could offer any one starting on a home renovation is to be patient and trust your gut.

Blinds between the Glass: Using Curtains to Add Flair to Blinds Between the Glass

Are you bored with your between the glass window treatments? Even with the plethora of between the glass treatments available curtains visually add something unique to the interior design of any room. Adding curtains to your room is one of the least expensive ways to add drama. Sure you can paint or add some wall paper for dimension but curtains are affordable and easy to switch out. If you aren’t pleased with your wall paper you are looking at weeks of peeling it off.

Adding personality to your rooms by adding curtains takes little to know interior design experience. Curtains are one of those items that can be added to any window even if the windows already have blinds between the glass. There are only a few decisions to make when installing curtains to your room; color, length, purpose, hardware and personal flair.

When deciding what type of curtains to add to your rooms make sure to measure the windows and furniture in the room before becoming too set on one type. For instance if you have a large bed frame with large nightstands but small windows you will want to place more emphasis on making the windows grand. When you measure for a small window that is in a room with large items you will want to look for hardware that can extend past the existing window frame. This will make the window appear larger and won’t allow the furniture to be the main focal point of the room any longer. With extra large windows if you want to down play them you will want to use simple window treatments to deemphasize their size.

Color, Print and Pattern
Colors are often used to describe our mood and the same exists with the mood of a room. Curtains can be one area where you use color to create an ambience. Neutral is always a good choice for walls because you can change the accessories to create the mood. If you choose a patterned wall paper or bold color to create a statement then let the walls stand as the room’s statement. Downplay the color, print and pattern of the curtains so that the room does not become overly busy. Whatever you choose when using curtains to decorate a room make sure it fits your style and taste. You are the one who has to love what you see when you enter the room.

Length
This is really important when placing emphasis in your interior design. Don’t think that just because you have short windows that are set higher off the ground you must use curtains that are short. If you want to add drama and flair you will want to emphasize the window. Use the windows natural light by using sheer curtains that go to the floor. Floor length curtains will always add a touch of class and flair. Short curtains tend to be great for kitchens and baths. These areas in your home can use curtains in a fun playful nature. Feel free to choose half curtains or only a valance where you aren’t concerned with privacy such as in the kitchen. If you have windows with the blinds between the glass privacy won’t be an issue anyhow. Windows that have the blinds encased within look wonderful with valances or even sheer curtains. It is all personal preference.

Function
Will the curtains you are installing serve a light control purpose? If so you will need to purchase room darkening curtains. This comes into play for bedrooms mostly. If you work nights and sleep days make sure you take this into account when planning for curtains in the bedroom.

Hardware
There are so many rods and hooks out there to jazz up your curtains. If you have a more neutral personal style then add the decorative touches in the rods and tiebacks. This is an inexpensive way to change the look of your curtains without going too extreme.

Personal Flair
When doing any kind of designing in your home this is the category to put ninety-five percent of your energy into. You will want to enjoy the space and the way it feels to you. Make sure when doing window treatments that they compliment who you are and what you want to say about yourself through your home. This is truly the most important piece in the puzzle of interior design.