How to Get Your Backyard Ready for Winter

The cold temperatures, relentless winds and heavy snow of winter can wreak havoc on your home's backyard. Getting your backyard ready for winter means more than just removing leaves. Every fall, you should take certain steps to protect your backyard to avoid having to replace plants, buy new lawn furniture and fix broken pipes.
Plants and Flowers Even though your plants and flowers are dormant, they still need care and attention to get them through the winter. You should give each plant a dose of fertilizer to ensure the roots are getting nutrients during the winter. Some plants with delicate root systems should get a thick layer of mulch. Spread around the base of the plant, bark, pine needles, leaves or pecan shells will insulate the roots, helping ensure they survive the cold.

Taking care of your plants and flowers also can protect your home. Trimming trees and shrubs can prevent ants from invading your home, which prevents unwanted problems. It can also prevent rodents from n…

3 Gadgets to Add to Your Home to Keep Your Family Safe and Healthy

Your home is your haven. It's the place where you eat, sleep, work, play and relax. However, any home is only a good one if it keeps its occupants safe and secure, and that doesn't happen on its own. You have to purchase the right equipment to protect you, your family and your possessions. To that end, here are three systems and detectors you need in your home to keep your family safe.
Water Filtration System Everyone knows that water is necessary to live. But, did you know that there are many contaminants in your water system? This is why a water filtration system is so necessary. According to All Elite Water, water filtration systems have been shown to reduce 99 percent of contaminants. Thankfully, you don't need to invest thousands of dollars to replace your pipes. Instead, purchase water filters for your sink or your drinking water, and make sure to test your water periodically for lead and other common household chemicals.
Carbon Monoxide Detector Carbon monoxide is …

Why You Need to Add a Balcony to Your Second Floor

Adding a second-floor balcony to your existing home is a great way to invite the outside in. In addition to gaining more living space for much of the year, you can enjoy more shade on the first-floor area under the balcony.
Decide on Your Materials The materials used for your balcony should match your home. If your house is wood, a wood balcony will look best. Carefully review the trim structure on your home and look for railings and posts that will tie in successfully with the existing features of the house. Fundamentally, you'll want the balcony to look as if it has always been there, but according to Eagle Building Solutions, you may be able to utilize creative options for decking materials that eliminate the risk of rot.
Choose a Contractor Your balcony will need support from below, and it will need to be tied to the existing house. Unless you have experience building balconies, this is a job for an experienced contractor. During the construction phase, anyone working on or u…

What Are Some Environmentally Friendly Home Improvement Projects?

There are many ways to make environmentally-friendly improvements around your home, and some of those methods are easier than you'd think. These changes are not only good for the environment, but they can also help your home to feel more inviting. Making any of these changes to your home is a wise move that you will be very likely to enjoy.

Changing the Lighting
Although people most commonly think of solar lights when they think of eco-friendly lighting, many lighting options are kind to the environment and worth considering. Solar lights require no electrical source, helping you save valuable energy. Also, any outdoor lighting that uses electricity can make use of a timer for energy savings. You can program the timer to turn the lots off during times of the night or day when you don't need them to be on. Inside the home, solar tubes and skylights help provide more natural lighting. Even hanging a few mirrors will enable you to maximize the use of light. In addition to using …

Why You Should Take Roof Damage to Your Home Seriously

The roof on your home is designed to protect the overall structure and frame of your home. Without your roof, you would incur all kinds of issues on both the outside and the inside of your home. In this article, we’re going to talk about why you should take roof damage to your home seriously. If you suspect a problem, you’re going to want it taken care of immediately.

It Can Cost You to Wait
If you notice that there is a minor problem going on with your roof currently, you’ll want to speak with a roofing professional to have the issue looked at. What could be a small shingle starting to fall off right now, could become a large water damage issue later on. A minor repair could cost you $200 right now. In three months, this same issue could cost upwards of $1,000. It costs a lot of money if you wait. While it might be an inconvenience to hire a professional, the pros outweigh the cons.
Water Damage
If you let water leak under the covering of your roof, this can lead to water damage in …

Things Are Heating Up: What to Know About Gas Hot Water Heaters

When it comes to installing a gas hot water heater for your home, there are pros and cons. Of course, one of the major pros with having a gas-operated hot water heater is that you are able to use it if ever the power goes out. Gas hot water heaters also heat much faster than electric and can even save you money in the long run. However, there are a few cons as well that you should know before installing a gas hot water heater.
Risk Factors Because you are dealing with gas, there is a risk of fire from the vapor emissions. When flammable vapor is released near a constantly lit pilot light, it can result in a phenomenon called flammable vapor ignition.
Maintenance Although gas hot water heaters may save on cost, they do require more maintenance than an electric hot water heater. Because you are dealing with gas, it is important to check it regularly to make sure there aren't any leaks or faulty lines. By checking these things regularly, you can see any early signs of an issue and a…

How Can I Protect My Property During Renovation Projects?

Renovations can feel a bit like knee surgery: It's going to be really, really nice when it's done and you've recovered, but maybe not so nice when it’s happening. Renovations can be messy and invasive when they’re happening, so it’s important to do a few things to protect your property. With the right planning and investment in protective materials to reduce damage to your space, you can reduce the fuss and mess of renovation.
Minimize Dust Exposure Do your best to keep both the area to be renovated and the contractor's access in a direct line. If the workers fixing up your space do need to cross a portion of the house you're trying to live in during the renovation, invest in heavy plastic sheeting and create a walkway that you can sweep each night. You might also invest in whisk brooms so workers can clean off their boots before crossing your home, especially if there's a lot of sheetrock or wood dust. If you can't close the door between the area to be re…