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5 Tips to saving money on your next home repair project



If you have a home repair project in the works, you need to think about the strategies that you can take so that you can create some savings in the process. When it comes to home repair or home upgrade projects, you want to get the best deals. You do not want to spend way too much than is realistically necessary. Are there things that you can do on your own during the repairs? Are you willing to invest in a DIY project to help you save on the overall costs? Well, these are pertinent questions that can help you think of ways to make savings on your home repair projects.


Here are 5 tips that can help you make savings on your next home repair project:

1. Your budget should be realistic

If you need to repair or upgrade your roof, it is important that you conduct a roof inspection so that you can tell exactly what should be done to it. If it needs minor repairs, then you can budget for the minor repairs. Should you consider hiring a contractor, it is advisable that you do it in hourly terms. Get quotes from a few contractors and compare their quotes. Get to know all the costs that you will incur and budget for these. If not, you may get into costly oversights that will blur your plans.

2. Consider sales at home improvement stores

When you are sure of the items you need for your home improvement projects, visit the home improvement stores and review their various offers. Take your time and review the prices of the various materials that you will require for your project.  When you shop around, you are definitely going to find some supplies at lower costs and this will help you make savings. Buy in bulk and you will also save in the process.

3. Consider manufacturer rebates

In case you are taking care of the repairs on your own, you could benefit from manufacturer rebates. For the expensive equipment that you may require for your projects, check for flyers and manufacturer websites to find the kind of rebates on offer. You could also benefit by purchasing products and supplies that are environmentally friendly. Just search for the stores that have these offers.

4. Use of salvaged materials

If there are salvage yards or home rebuilding centers in your locality; you can get salvaged materials and use these to save you on expensive new building materials. When you use the salvaged materials for your home repair projects, you could then repurpose the use of your home furnishings for other projects. Remember that the salvaged materials could be the cheapest option you have for inexpensive and effective home repairs.

5. Negotiating with contractors


One of the best ways to save money in your project is through negotiations with the contractors that you may want to use. Negotiations will give you the best deals and this is definitely a good way to make savings. Get quotes from a number of reputable contractors and pick the most costs effective one for your project. In all your negotiations and bargains, ensure that professionalism of the contractors come first. If you have to purchase materials on your own to make savings, then go ahead and do it.

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How To Start Your Garden Before Spring

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It’s the middle of winter, but produce is expensive and it’s so much more gratifying to plant and grow your own food. If only summer would get here sooner. But you don’t have to wait until summer to reap the benefits of a vegetable garden.

The Yard Butler, professionals in landscaping and weed control, have helped us put together this list of ways that you can start your garden in your home this winter.

  1. Choose what you want to grow.

The first step to starting your indoor vegetable garden is choosing what you want to grow. Do you want a salsa garden? Tomatoes, peppers, cilantro. Or maybe you want zucchini, broccoli, lettuce, and carrots. Whatever you want, decide on that now and go pick up the seeds for it. You might even be able to get some good deals on seeds during the off season of gardening.

  1. Get your containers.

You can make, buy or reuse containers for your little seedlings. The best thing to do is plant them in something that is either biodegradable or something that you can remove them from easily for transplanting when they get larger.

Egg cartons and empty yogurt cups are both great options for starting your seeds. Just make sure you use something that will let excess water out, so your seeds don’t rot and mold.

Later on, if it’s warm enough outside you can move the developed seedlings to your garden. Or if it’s still cold outside, you can transplant them into larger containers.

  1. Find a location.

If you’re going to have an indoor garden, you’ll need to have a space dedicated to it. This can be in a garage or unfinished basement, or maybe even an empty room in your home that gets good light and has a hard floor (for any messes that might happen). You’ll want to make sure that wherever you decide to start your garden, especially at the beginning, that stays warm. Large windows that let in a lot of sunlight or space heaters can help with this.

Be aware that many plants can get quite large, so if you are planning on keeping your plants indoors, you’ll want a large enough space for them to grow.

  1. Start your seeds.

Get some good soil (you can find this at most home and garden stores). Place the soil into your containers and plant your seeds. Most seed packages have the directions on how to plant them (how deep and the number of seed).

If you are going to transplant your seedlings as they start to grow, you will want to make sure the timing is right – planting them about 3-6 weeks before the last Spring frost is a good rule of thumb if you plan on moving them outside.

  1. Water your plants.

As your seeds are starting, watering them can be a fine art. It is extremely important, but you also want to make sure you don’t over water them. Starting with a spray bottle and making sure the soil is moist at all times is a good place to start. To help retain moisture, try covering the containers with plastic or damp newspaper. Just be sure to remove this once the plants break through the soil.

  1. Give them light.

Open up those windows if you were able to put your garden near some windows that allow the sun through (without letting in a lot of cold air). If you aren’t able to plant your garden near a window, then you can use artificial lights.

You can use fluorescent LED bulbs as a replacement for natural light. Keep the lights about 6 inches above the plants, moving them up as they grow.

  1. Watch your garden grow!

Continue to take good care of your garden, giving it plenty of water and light. If you plan on transplanting, do so before your plants start producing food and before they get too big.

Enjoy your garden!

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How to Choose the Right Water System for Your Home


The water that is piped to our homes is hardly clean. This is because it gets contaminated as it goes through the pipes by metals, chemicals and disease causing bacteria. It’s therefore important for every homeowner to consider treating water before it’s used for domestic purposes. Treated water gives you the privilege of enjoying water that is crisp, refreshing and free from odors. You only need to invest in a water treatment system and you will never have to waste your money on bottled water. Most homeowners get confused when selecting a water purification system. This is due to the fact that there are several systems that are available in the market.

  1. Have Your Water Tested

It’s difficult to find a water treatment system that removes all the impurities. This is because different systems are designed to only eliminate certain kinds of impurities. If you rush into just buying any system, you might be shocked to find that it can’t remove the impurities that are in your tap water. To avoid wasting time and money, you should first have the water tested at the nearest municipal lab. If you are lucky, your municipal will give you results for tests that were carried out recently. You can also test the water at home. But you must buy a home test kit. The results you will get will guide you when shopping for water filters.

  1. Choose the Ideal System

There are basically three categories of water filters. The first group uses activated carbon to get rid of impurities such as copper, lead, mercury, pesticides and parasites. This kind of filter is commonly used in systems that are installed beneath the kitchen sink and water pitchers. If your water has been contaminated by chemicals that are used in dry cleaners, you have to get a system that uses reverse osmosis technology by making it go through a semipermeable membrane. However, if arsenic is present in your water, it can only be eliminated through distillation by boiling the water so that impurities can be left behind after evaporation. You should also by a system that has been approved by NSF.

  1. Select a Location for the Filter

You have to select where you want your system to be. You can install the treatment system at the point of entry so that the impurities are eliminated before the water reaches your house and storage tanks. If this is the kind of system that you want, you have to put your finances together because they are costly. Besides that, you must create extra space for such a system. You can also opt for point of use filters such as pitchers, faucet systems and undersink filters.

  1. Focus on Efficiency

Treatment systems that are installed below the sink are more reliable than filters that are found in pitchers. This is because there is a lot of pressure that’s pushing the water. The other advantage is that they don’t require any refilling because the water is purified as it flows through the tap. A pitcher has to be refilled on a regular basis or there will be no pure water when you need to quench your thirst. For more details on water treatment, please visit

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Stay Protected from Bugs All Year-Round with Experienced Pest Control, Terminix


Pests can become a serious problem when they invade your home. Some bugs, like termites, can degrade your home’s structure. Others, like cockroaches and mosquitoes, can cause unpleasant bites or stings. Fortunately, Terminix can help protect you from bugs year-round.

Bugs and the Weather: There is a common misconception that people do not have to deal with bugs in winter. While it is true that some species of bugs are scarce, others, like termites, really do not care about the season. If you are in a warm location like Orlando, Florida, the bugs don’t go away, and you may need to call an exterminator in Orlando even during the winter months.

Terminix Guarantee: With over ninety years of experience, Terminix is a top-quality pest company in the nation. If you have a bug infestation in your home, the professionals at Terminix will not stop until your home is protected.  If the bugs return, your Terminix professional will come back at no additional cost.*

Terminix Protection: The best way to prevent problems from a pest infestation is to protect your home from invasion in the first place. In addition to exterminating pests, Terminix also has plenty of experience in pest prevention. The specific method of prevention can vary depending on the type of bug. For instance, if you are dealing with mosquitoes, Terminix will use a special compound that is designed to kill mosquitoes and mosquito larvae on contact . Another way to protect your home is by sealing off spaces where wildlife can enter your house.

You may need more or less protection depending on where you live. The first step to ensuring that you’re guarded against bugs year-round is calling a Terminix professional to help your home.

* If within 30 days after an inspection or treatment you aren’t totally satisfied, we will refund the applicable treatment or coverage charges and reimburse any prepaid services and cancel your plan.

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5 Tips to making DIY home roof repair easy


Let's discuss the unvoiced perils first. Roofers have an instinct akin to what navigators call sea legs. Professional roofers spend a considerable amount of time on rooftops such that they skillfully and comfortably walk on the slickest roofs.

The ordinary homeowner hardly spends time on their roof, even if they happen to a skydiver or rock climber and comfortable with heights, crisscrossing a roof is a different animal. Being on a rooftop has an aspect of danger often ignored. An abrupt rush of wind out of nowhere can lead to a precarious situation especially if bearing an OSB panel. You may find yourself on the ground writhing in pain.

However, this isn't to mean you can't embark on your DIY home roof repair tasks, we will advise you on making the whole undertaking much easier.

Here are five tips for making DIY home roof repair easy.

1.    Clean up the work site  

Roofing experts develop approaches and equipment meant to keep the job site tidy. Tackling the task on your own may require you to embrace some of these methods as well.

Among the quick tips include sheltering and protecting plants and bushes that may be affected by falling debris from the roof by using a tarp to seize falling material.

Many a time roofing contractors run a magnet above the ‘drop zone' to recover nails that may have escaped.

2.    Handle materials the right way

When lifting weighty materials, use your legs never your back, to prevent injuries that would otherwise hamper the progress of your roofing project. The amount of material to be carried may overwhelm you especially if it's your first time. To ease the repair work, lessen fatigue and do more work, move the optimum load your body can handle.

Also, keep materials near the roof – the nearer to the roof, less energy and time is wasted fetching material.

3.    Use appropriate tools and safety kit

It's essential to employ the proper tools and safety gear when carrying out your roofing undertaking. Always acquire the right tools for the job.

Among the tools you require include:

  •         Chisel
  •         Caulking gun
  •         Clamp
  •         Air compressor
  •         Circular saw
  •         Carpenter's level
  •         Seaming pliers
  •         Hacksaw
  •         Electric drill
  •         Clean-up cloth
  •         Electric drill
  •         Roofing shovel
  •         Seaming pliers
  •         Magnet
  •         Framing Hammer
  •         Combination square
  •         Screwdriver set
  •         Wrench set
  •         Tape measure
  •         Sturdy ladder
  •         Shingle Remover
  •         Staple gun
  •         Tin snips
  •         Utility knife

Among the safety equipment needed, includes:

  •         Ladder stabilizer
  •         Eye protection
  •         Guardrails
  •         Work gloves
  •         Safety harness
  •         Scaffolding
  •         Rope
  •         Roof anchors
  •         Netting
  •         Lanyard

4.    Plan ahead

Any roofing project must comply with the building codes of your area of jurisdiction. Ensure that you obtain all the applicable building permits as required by your administration to avert suits and possible halting of your project.

An essential step in recycling entails pre-sorting debris falling from your roof. Nails, shingles and asphaltic underlayment get recycled. Pre-sorting saves you money as it makes things simpler for the recycler.

5.    Identify and repair damages or leaks early on

The earlier you detect impairments, the easier it is to fix your roof. Damages or leaks left unattended may lead to more significant problems that may necessitate the need for a roof replacement which is expensive, and you may not have the expertise to handle a restoration.

For more on DIY roof projects, visit our site via

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5 tips to choosing the right home insurance


There are so many home insurance companies out there that choosing the right one can be a challenge for most people. That’s because most of them offer almost the same services, but differ on details such as prices and the level of coverage. To help you out, here are 5 tips to choosing the right home insurance.

  1. Understand what the policy will cover

This may sound surprising but most people have no idea what their home insurance covers. For you to choose the right home insurance, you need to understand what is usually covered. That’s because when you understand this, you will be in a position to negotiate for better terms, as well as get a separate insurance for the things that are not covered. Besides, with a good understanding of what the cover is about, you can choose an insurance company that offers you more services for every dollar invested with them.

  1. Have an estimate of your home repair costs

When shopping for a home insurance provider, ensure that you have a good estimates of your repair and items replacement value in mind. This allows you to choose an insurer who offers you comprehensive coverage relative to the premiums you have to pay on a monthly or annual basis. For best results, avoid companies that offer blanket coverage that may not be sufficient to cover your home needs in case the need arises.

  1. Check the yearly policy cost increases

The cost of most home insurance policies increases on an annual basis. For you to pick the best home insurance policy provider, have the company you are looking at clarify their annual percentage premium increases. This way, you can have a clear idea of which insurer to go for, based on the annualized cost of their service. To make the most of your insurance, go for a company that has lower annual policy cost increase. This way, you won’t have to struggle with increasing insurance payments that may harm your finances in the long run.

  1. Check the claims history of different home insurers

Before signing up for home insurance, check the claims history of the companies you are looking to sign up with. Checking their claims history can help you understand the issues that the insurers focus on when determining their problems, then work on them. For instance, if from their claims history you find that fire security is the insurer’s area of concern, you may choose to go for an insurer that lowers premiums if you install a sprinkler system.

  1. Get to understand what your insurance covers

There are home insurers that cover special damages such as those caused by earthquakes, floods among others. Depending on the location of your home, find a home insurer that covers special needs that might arise in your locality. This is the best way to ensure that you never have to incur extra costs out of pocket, in case of any eventuality.

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5 Tips for Keeping Pests Out of Your Home This Winter

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Winter is in full swing, and when you step outside there’s hardly a bug in sight. Thankfully, many of the common pests we so dread during summer and fall months go into hibernation during the winter. However, there are a few that discover the warmth of our homes in the winter.

Our friends at Yard Master Services, a provider of pest control in Idaho Falls, have put together these tips for protecting your home from pests this winter.

Cracks and Holes

Mice can fit through a hole the size of a dime, so look out for any cracks or holes that might be open from the exterior of your home. Seal these to prevent rodents from making their way inside your house this winter. Also, be sure to repair any damaged screens or windows.


Keep firewood stored a safe distance away from your home. It might seem convenient to have it right along the wall outside, but firewood turns into a nesting ground for mice and ants in the winter. And convenient for you means convenient for them. Twenty feet is a good distance for keeping your firewood away from your home, and it’s not that far of a walk for you either.

Trim Trees

Do you have larger trees around your home? If the branches brush up against the side of your house, it’s probably time to trim them down. Branches in close proximity to your walls or windows create a bridge for spiders living in the tree to gain access to your home. Trim those trees down to prevent these unwelcome guests.


Keep your storage space organized. Spaces like your garage and attic become especially prone to pests during the winter months. The attic has little to no traffic during this time of year and the garage is the opposite and has the doors open every time you drive your car, making them the perfect places for pests to hide.

If you keep these spaces well organized, there will be less clutter for pests to nest and hide in. It will also be beneficial in catching the pest problem right away instead of not realizing there was one all winter.


Some pests, like cockroaches, love moisture. Be sure to eliminate moisture sites like leaking pipes and clogged drains. And keep basements, attics, and crawl space dry and well ventilated to prevent infestations that you really don’t want.

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4 Tips to Maintaining Your Italian Furniture


For countless centuries, Italian design has been the juggernaut of the style world and it still remains one of the most influential trendsetters today. When it comes to furniture, Italian pieces have become synonymous with chic style and elegant taste. That could explain why more and more people have started incorporating Italian furniture into their interior design.

But, as always, luxury furniture represents a massive investment for most people. And once you buy a piece, it is very important to maintain it properly. This is the only way that your new furniture will be able to serve you for a long, long time. It makes no sense to go to a reputable furniture store and buy an expensive piece of Italian furniture, only to let it fall to ruin a short while later!

The only problem – if you can call it that – is that Italian furniture is quite unique. It is characterized by rich fabrics, supple leather, and sophisticated design. You are more likely to find unique materials like glass, leather, and steel – rather than just plain old wood. This looks great in your home but requires specialized skills to clean and maintain.

That said, here are 4 tips that can help you maintain your Italian furniture:

  1. Protect the Fabric

In general, sunlight causes upholstery to discolor, fade, and even rot. Spillages and sharp objects also present a clear danger to your furniture. So take care to ensure that your furniture is not set out in direct sunlight. You can do this by keeping your curtains or blinds drawn.

Direct heat from the fireplace, heater, or radiator can also cause adverse effects. So take care to arrange your furniture away from any sources of direct heat.

It’s also important to avoid tears. Your pets’ claws or objects like buckles, jewelry, and rivets can snag or scratch your fabric. If this happens, avoid pulling at or cutting any snag. Instead, simply tuck it in.

  1. Keep it Clean

Regular cleaning is the best way to ensure that your furniture stays well maintained. If left unchecked, accumulated dirt will dull colors and make your fabric degrade faster. So make sure to vacuum clean your upholstery at least once every week.

Act quickly when a spill occurs. Don’t rub it into the fabric or let the stain set in. Instead, use a dry white cloth or kitchen paper to absorb the spillage. Avoid using any household cleaners on the spill.

It’s also a good idea to use a professional cleaning service once in a while. Don’t try to do this in-depth cleaning yourself! Different fabrics require specialized methods and materials to clean them without causing damage.

  1. Maintaining Cushions

The best way to keep your cushions looking good as new is to plump them regularly. Not only will this keep them in great condition, it will also help to prolong their longevity. And depending on the filler, you can take their maintenance a step further.

Foam cushions tend to lose some of their hardness after a few weeks of use. You can help them maintain their shape by turning them on the reversible side regularly. For fiber or feather cushions, you should plump and pat them vigorously from time to time.

If you haven’t been plumping and turning your cushions regularly, you may have noticed that they start to lose their shape. In this case, simply unzip the top cover, reposition the filling, and follow the steps outlined above.

But it’s important to note that you will have to replace your cushions every few years. This is unavoidable, but the period between each replacement depends on how you use them.

  1. Take Care of the Wood

When used in Italian furniture, wood is usually covered with a hard-wearing lacquer to protect it. So use a soft, damp cloth to clean the surface then buff it with a clean, dry one. Avoid using solvents, polishes, or abrasive cleaners which can damage the lacquer.

Also, change the position of your wood furniture regularly, especially if it is placed in direct sunlight. This is because longer exposure can cause wood to become darker or lighter, depending on the type of wood. Leaving your furniture in one spot can cause unattractive patches to appear.

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Tips for Starting Your Own Home Renovations Company

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If you enjoy home renovations and taking on projects for your own property, then making your hobby into a means of making an income could be something that has crossed your mind. Home renovators are highly sought after amongst homeowners who want to pay a professional to ensure that the job is done correctly. Whether your strengths lie in rebuilding, decorating, or extending homes, here are some top tips to help you get started setting up as an entrepreneur in your field.

Tip #1: Get the Right Certification

Firstly, it’s important to make sure that you are qualified to carry out the services that you are going to be advertising. Bear in mind, though, that home renovation companies are highly regulated and must adhere to health and safety standards, which usually means taking OSHA compliance training in most states. Depending on the type of services that you are going to offer, it may also be worth taking specialized programs relating to your business along with extras in detecting problems such as asbestos or mold for instance. For more information on course options, check out ZOTA.

Tip #2: Get Online

Once you’re certified and licensed, it’s time to get started with advertising your business and building your client base. The first thing that you should do is get started on your online presence; today, most homeowners will turn to the internet as a first port of call when looking for somebody to renovate or work on their home, therefore, having a website and social media profiles should be one of your first priorities. Think of a business name that translates into a good domain name that is to the point and memorable.

Tip #3: Market Research

To be successful with your business, it’s important to get to know who your target market is and what they want from your company. Taking the time to speak to homeowners in your local area will pay off massively; this will allow you to learn more about the people that you will be marketing to and find out their likes and dislikes, their needs, preferences, and more. Don’t forget to use a broad range of market research methods, such as in-person interviews, surveys, and the use of online platforms such as social media and email to find out as much as you can. Bear in mind that the more you know your target audience, the more in-tune you will be with their needs.

Tip #4: Getting Work

Finally, it’s time to start thinking about getting your first jobs and gaining your new company a good reputation from the outcome. If you’ve done some renovation work before, whether on your own property or somebody else’s, it’s a good idea to use any before and after pictures that you have to create an example of your work to your potential customers. First-time deals and other offers may also work well for encouraging more clients to choose you over others.

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