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Furnace Issues: Repair vs. Replace?

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In recent months, businesses in the home improvement industry have seen a spike in traffic due to consumers being home more than ever before. The Home Improvement Research Institute found with plans canceled many consumers have decided to focus on one area that is normally avoided, the needed repairs to their home. While summer slowly comes to a close, one of the projects on most people’s minds is their furnace and whether to repair or replace.  

For most consumers, the thought of replacing their entire HVAC system seems expensive, which makes it a project that is normally put off as long as possible. In most cases, a simple service inspection from an air conditioning company can fix any problems that you might be noticing. Some of the warning signs that repairs might be needed include the following.

  1. A dramatic increase in your energy bill. In most homes the furnace makes up the majority of the energy bill and when not correctly maintained it can cause a massive increase in your bill. Sometimes this increase can be caused by something simple and other times it can lead to a whole system replacement. By having an annual service visit you can help prevent this increase. 
  2. An abnormal amount of dust in your home. One component of your furnace is the filter. This helps to reduce the amount of dust that is present in the air within your home. By properly maintaining and replacing your filter you will be able to maintain clean air. 
  3. Abnormal or strange noises coming from your furnace. Furnaces are generally fairly quiet pieces of equipment within the home and therefore you should not be hearing popping, banging, scraping or screeching noises. Typically, these noises indicate that a part within the furnace is no longer working correctly. By calling a technician the problem can be quickly assessed and resolved. 

While repairs are the first line of defense against having your furnace go out on the coldest night, they are not always guaranteed. Each furnace model is slightly different from the others, however, on average a furnace will last about 15 years before needing to be replaced. As you move towards the colder nights of fall and winter it is a good time to think about the age of your furnace to prevent being without heat. Some other signs that your furnace is about to go out include the following.

  1. Carbon monoxide is being released into your home. Carbon monoxide is known as the silent killer within the homes which means that your furnace needs to be replaced as soon as possible. Carbon monoxide is released from the furnace when the combustion chamber within the unit cracks. This is not something that can be fixed and results in a whole unit replacement. 
  2. The cost of repairs is more than half the cost of replacing the unit. It is a rule of thumb for most technicians that if the costs of repairs excessed more than 50% of the cost of replacement and the unit is at least halfway through its life expectancy then you should place it. Normally by this point, the furnace is experiencing other problems and by replacing it you can possibly see a lower energy bill. 
  3. Numerous repairs in a short time span. Typically, if a unit requires numerous repairs within a two-year time span then it is time to consider replacing it. This is either a sign that more repairs are coming or that the unit is about to fail.

When it comes down to it deciding to repair or replace your furnace is a decision that only you can make. The main thing to remember is to listen to your furnace and know when something sounds off. By maintaining an annual maintenance schedule with your HVAC provider, you will be better informed to make the best decision possible.

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Dealing With A Leaking Furnace

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A leaking furnace is never something that you want to deal with, especially on the coldest winter night. There are numerous different reasons as to why you might be seeing water under your furnace, but the most common is a condensation leak. One important aspect of furnace leaks to remember is that they are a fairly common issue, but they need to be handled quickly to reduce the amount of damage that might be done to your home.

When you see water under your furnace the best thing to do is call your local HVAC contractor for an accurate diagnosis. However, it is important to stay educated about the different components that make up your furnace and where the issue might be.

Condensation Leaks

Condensation leaks normally occur in high-efficiency furnaces, which have an AFUE rating of 90 or above. These types of furnaces have two heat exchangers which help to produce more heat.

With the production of more heat, there is more condensation which needs to be carried out of the home via a network of pipes. When this network becomes clogged or breaks the condensation gathers around the base of the furnace, leading to a collection and possible water damage.

Humidifier Leaks

The humidifier is another important part of your furnace. This device connects your plumbing system to the furnace which adds moisture to the air circulating throughout your home. When the connection is clogged, damaged or broken water will start to collect at the base of your furnace.

Filters

The furnace filter is used to filter out the dirt that is in the air and therefore needs to be replaced roughly every 90 days. When not replaced frequently enough it can cause the filter to get dirty and clogged which restricts the airflow into your furnace coils. This can cause the coils to freeze and forcing water to leak into the furnace causing more damage. 

Plumbing

Each furnace has a network of plumbing throughout the unit, along with the systems centering and exiting the unit. When these systems get clogged it can cause a backup in the whole system leading to pipes breaking and leaking.

To conclude, there are many different reasons as to why your furnace is leaking water; some major, others minor. Calling your local technician is the first line of defensive against causing more damage to your home. By conducting annual service to your unit, you will be able to catch any problems before they become major. Finally, knowing the signs of needed repairs and listening to your furnace will make a major difference in the long run.

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How to Overcome Glitches at a Construction Site

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The universe has been clenched in the fists of modernization. Scientific advancement has enhanced the living standards of human beings. As technology is intervening in every facet of living, the ways of life are changing. The perfect combination of nature and the human mind has brought colors to the world. The mashup of these two brilliant units has transmuted the functioning world. The world is moving at a hypersonic pace leading to mesmerizing wonders.

Construction sites are the first step towards the beginning of new lives. The skyscrapers piercing through the clouds represent what we have achieved. With the introduction of new technologies every day, the construction industry is attaining new heights. The astonishing ideas spewing out from the fantastic brains of human beings are worth praising. These wonders require a lot of skills and expertise to stand out firmly. Behind a single building, many people are working, both physically and mentally. 

Construction sites are not less than a ring of life. It is quite a dangerous place to dwell. The hefty pieces are hovering over the heads, heavy machinery moving around, delicate rotating equipment functioning to their fullest, in short accidents are waiting to hit. Everyone is prone to mistakes. There are lots of glitches and errors done at construction sites. But, a little failure can cause a lot of trouble for everyone. It can be deadly as the lives of people who live or be in there are at stake. Here are some of the common glitches with solutions that may incur at a construction site.

Power Issues

 To run the construction site effectively, you should have power resources. Connection to the primary grid can help you out, but what if you are working at a remote location? What if there come glitches in the mainline? You can't afford to delay the work at the construction site. Nowadays, always every tool requires power to operate. There are lifts, cutters, drillers, shakers, mixers, and a lot more waiting to get an electrical connection to do their job. Therefore, it is necessary to have generators at the site to cope with power issues. Sometimes, generators also collapse, so there should be reliable generators. If you want to avoid any generators glitches and want to have the best ones, go to the site and pick any that caters to your needs.

Blueprint Confusions

If you're planning to build anything, you need a design. Structural designs have blueprints that are a plan of what shape the building will get. The intricate designs can cause a lot of trouble. The designers may provide it to them to field workers, but there is a chance of misreading the prints. It could be very threatening because a tad error can cause the building to collapse. The designers and workers should frequently communicate to make sure things are proceeding in the right direction. Some amendments in the plan may also occur, so the blueprints of the latest dates should be available for the workers. 

Communication Gaps

Construction site mingles different teams for different purposes. There are a lot of aspects related to the construction that different groups have. Occasionally, when one group leaves, they don't convey the essentials of the day to other teams that may lead to severe issues. Sometimes, the workers have a hard time understanding the tasks. There shouldn't be any miscommunication at the construction site to avoid any mishaps.

Safety Hazards

The safety of the workers at a construction site is of prime importance. There should not be any leaks in the safety of the workers. Everyone should work according to safety protocols. First aid kits should always be available to tackle any injury. Immediate actions and treatments can save lives. If accidents are happening around, it won't only delay the work, but the firm's reputation will also decline.

Design Flaws

Nobody is perfect. Flaws can occur at any time. In the construction industry, the designs are on paper or a computer screen that looks perfectly fine. But when it comes to practical, the flaws may come out to give surprise everyone. To encounter it, designers must use advanced software to prepare models before the construction begins. On the spot, amendments can also increase your cost a lot. If you are sure that the flaw won't disturb the quality and standard, you may go with it.   

Work Delays

The construction companies go with the forecasting of a few months and plan accordingly. The plans should be on short-terms. Break the prediction in weeks or even days to combat delays. What if bad weather approaches and nobody can do the work? What if other glitches diminish the pace of the work. Go with day to day tasks to achieve the targets. 

Conclusion

The construction site is a mess. There are lots of operations going on at different spots. When a lot of work is under process, glitches are unavoidable. With proper organization and planning, we can reduce the risk of glitches occurring. Above are some of the glitches that usually happen at a construction site. These glitches can cause a lot of hassle and produce hindrances in accomplishing the goals. The companies should take every measure to tackle these glitches.  

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Moving: Tips for Transporting Your Stuff

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Transporting your stuff for moving or something else should be easy and stress-free — if you use the following tips. 

We’ll tell you how to pack your car for moving and how to make sure your belongings are safe while on the road. 

Read on!

Declutter: Purge, Sell or Donate 

Go through your stuff at least two weeks before you transport them. Then, sort them into three groups like below: 

  • Purge – and by “purge” we mean trash. Don’t be afraid to throw items -- even the huge ones -- if they’re no longer useful or if they’re broken and can’t be fixed.

  • Sell – after throwing out the junk, see if you can sell some things. They can be items that are old but still in great working condition. List them in online shops or set up a garage sale. 

  • Donate – there are some things you’d feel better just donating instead of throwing away or selling. These items can be furniture, clothes, shoes, or anything that another person can use

Pick the Right Vehicle 

You must have the right kind of vehicle for the task. If you think your car won’t cut, find a Bristol van hire shop that can offer the right type of vehicle. 

If you’re planning to rent a van, remember to consider what kind and size you need. Bigger vans can haul more and larger items, reducing the number of trips you have to make to transport all your stuff.

Essential Items First 

Now, check the items you’ve retained and pack the most essential items first. Packing essential items help maximize the limited storage space you have.

Try an Overhead Carrier 

And because you have limited space, you might want to try equipment that helps you carry more. An overhead carrier is an impeccable solution. 

Attach the overhead carrier on the vehicle’s roof and be strategic when putting items on the carrier. 

One caveat: high-quality carriers can be quite pricey. So think about it first. 

And while you’re at it, make sure you have some other useful car tools and accessories you can use when transporting stuff.

Don’t Use Cardboard Boxes 

Cardboard boxes are pretty useful, but they’re not always enough.

For one, cardboard boxes are meant for huge storage spaces, which you probably won’t have if you’re transporting a lot of stuff. They’re also not very flexible. 

An alternative would be plastic bags. Or you can get creative: cover glasses and other such items in clean clothes to protect them and save bubble wrap. 

Cover containers of liquids (perfume, alcohol, etc) with saran wrap to avoid spills.

Put Heavy Stuff at the Bottom 

You don’t want to crush smaller, more fragile items while you’re driving. Place the larger, heavier, and stronger items at the bottom. 

Examples of items you should put at the bottom are books and heavy furniture. Appliances, electronic gadgets, and items made of glasses should be on top.

Plan the Route 

If you think you’ll spend some time on the road, or if you’re sure you’ll make multiple trips, survey the road and routes you’ll take. 

This will help you avoid problems with roads and streets such as roadblocks, roads under construction, and such inconveniences. 

Plan the timing, too. Think of rush hours and times when the road is usually congested.

Ready to Transport Your Stuff? 

These tips are meant to help you transport your stuff with ease and less stress. However, expect that you’ll still encounter problems when you hit the road. 

The difference is that they’ll probably be minor problems, and you’ll be able to anticipate them. You’ll be able to solve them faster when they come up. 

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5 Tips To Help You Hire The Best Roofing Company

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Hiring a contractor for any type of construction or building repair work can be a stressful time — especially for someone who has had little contact or experience of the industry. However, it really doesn’t need to be so.

By following the informative, accurate guide laid out for you here, you can hire a great roofing company with an excellent degree of confidence that you’ll get the best available and, just as importantly, you’ll get the all-important job done — all within budget, with guarantees, and with as little stress as possible — all because you got the best roofing company for the task at hand.

A new roof or roof repair is an important consideration, as a failure to act on your part can lead to a whole host of problems you certainly do not want — interior damage, structural issues, and the biggest consideration — more costs. Who honestly needs that in this coronavirus-riddled, economy-knocked out of the park era we live in? Yes, same here.

For example, if your area experiences a severe storm with damage potential, and your roof is in need of repairs, you really need to act as quickly as possible - to mitigate any further damage. Doing this with confidence can only happen if you ensure you follow this guide: Your 5 Tips To Help You Hire The Best Roofing Company.

1. Due Diligence

Time may be of the essence, especially if your roof is now letting in rainwater, but you still need to do your due diligence when you begin your search for the best roofing company for your needs. Make sure you:

  • Ask For Referrals: Ask friends, family, and neighbors for their references to local roofers or contractors. By selecting a local roofing company from a trusted referral, you will drastically improve your chances of finding a reputable one - and less chance of coming across a clever scam. Choosing a roofing contractor from your local community with a sound reputation is a great way to ensure a job well done. Additionally, they are more aware of local rules and code regulations and should have a good relationship with local building material suppliers. 
  • Research: If you do get a good referral, your due diligence doesn’t stop there - research only the highest-quality companies using the Better Business Bureau (BBB). If they are not on the BBB, they shouldn’t be on your roof!
  • Manufacturer Designation: High-quality companies always have a manufacturer designation, too. To become factory-certified, the contractor must pass minimum requirements in your region or state. These designations are considered “a badge of honor” among their own peers, because the contractor must pass certain minimum requirements to become factory-certified. Note: This is an important consideration - manufacturers won’t honor their warranties when a roof is installed by a non-authorized installer.

2. Safety

Regardless of where you are in the country, strict adherence to safety standards is essential. Therefore, you should only hire a roofer that has safety training. Ask the contractor if their roofing company has a training program, or requires that its employees take relevant safety classes.

3. Comprehensive & Extensive Warranty

When it comes to the warranty for your new roofing, ensure the cover provided includes workmanship, as well as the obligatory faulty parts/materials. You can make comparisons with other contractors’ warranties that are also available — specifically, length of the cover and the workmanship involved.

This is important because not all contractors can offer the manufacturer’s warranty that includes the roofing contractor’s workmanship. If a contractor installs the roof incorrectly or not to specification, it will often take months (or even years) for the damage to begin to show, and your insurance will not pay for it. If the contractor refuses to fix it (or worse, their business has bitten the dust in this COVID-19-ridden economy), your only option left is to actually put your hand in your own pocket, and pay for their mistake yourself. 

4. Professional & Comprehensive Insurance and Licensing

Every single employee of the roofing contractor you hire should be licensed roofers — covered 100% by the company’s insurance policy. This should include any or all subcontractors too. Inadequate insurance, sadly, can cause untold problems — usually major ones, and many do result in potential lawsuits.

Furthermore having professional and comprehensive insurance and licensing is a standard state regulation for any construction contractors. However, to keep costs down, some unscrupulous roofers do not have the proper insurance. You must ensure you get a copy of their insurance from your roofer before they start the job, and then you need to cross-reference it online. For example, they should have a current policy that includes $1,000,000 in liability coverage — as a minimum.

Nearly every state requires licensing for contractors; however, like the insurance policy, it still does not stop unlicensed contractors from doing roofing work if the homeowner isn’t careful. Reputable roofing contractors should hold:

  • Appropriate levels of Workers Compensation
  • At least $1 million worth of General Liability coverage, and
  • Hold current and proper state licensing where they’re working

5. The Legal Side

Lastly, you need to ensure you are covered legally for any future problems, so the best advice is to get everything in writing — with no omissions. Every single aspect of your roofing work should be agreed upon and signed off to your satisfaction. Essential aspects to cover include:

  • Materials: Your chosen roofing contractor should give you a number of different options for materials, eg. shingles, based on quality and affordability to fit your situation. 
  • Deductibles: An important one this, so beware. Any roofing contractor who claims they can handle the repair without having the homeowner pay their insurance deductible is committing fraud — insurance fraud, to be precise. The insurance deductible is strictly the responsibility of the insured, and that should be reflected in any quote that you’re provided with.
  • Insurance Claims: Any roofing contractor who describes themselves as “a claim specialist” or is able to “handle your insurance claim” may very well be breaking the law, depending on the state you live in. In the vast majority of states, it is illegal for any contractor to “act on behalf of the homeowner” when resolving any claim under your insurance policy. 

Cover Yourself Properly... 

By following these 5 Tips To Help You Hire The Best Roofing Company, you can hire a company that’s 100% legal, reputable, and able to get the work done time-efficiently and within budget. A quick reminder of how to ensure your peace of mind:

  • Due Diligence
  • Safety
  • Comprehensive & Extensive Warranty
  • Professional & Comprehensive Insurance and Licensing
  • The Legal Side

If you have any tips of your own that you’d like to share with other readers, drop a comment below. Thanks.

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Reupholstering Old Furniture with DIY Fabric Slipcovers

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Buying new furniture can be pricey, and sometimes parting with an old couch that still retains its comfort can prove challenging. Your older furniture has already been broken in, carries a lot of memories and naps, and stood the test of time. Unfortunately, it may look outdated, and the wear and tear are showing. 

Creating your DIY fabric slipcovers is a great way to freshen up the look of an old piece of furniture. Using quality fabric for reupholstery is the perfect way to freshen up an old couch without spending too much money. The material listed below will give you a fantastic jumping off point in picking a quality fabric.

Fabrics for Reupholstering Furniture

Solids – Solid colors are a fundamental cornerstone of every design. They add weight and stability to the room and offer a base for added designs like patterns, shapes, and come in a wide array of colors. You can use this opportunity to add contrast to your room by picking a color that doesn’t exactly match or pick one for a perfect blend of color that’ll refresh your room. 

  • Solid Knit Pleated Bodre Fabric – This can come in different colors than the one shown, but will add a new level of sophistication to your old furniture and a small touch of elegance to your home.

Paisley – This style of fabric is iconic, all on its own. With its teardrop motif and a curved top, it was a popular style that has stood the test of time and interior decorating trends. Its Persian-style looks have made it a staple for furniture from the late 18th century and into modern times. There’s something to be said about timelessness.

  • Paisley Knit Velvet Fabric Burgundy – With the classic paisley design and the luxurious feel of velvet, your old couch will quickly become the center of attraction for your family and guests. If the burgundy doesn’t suit you in color, try the navy-rust, and black-rust.

Charmeuse – For an ultimate style that gives off an illustrious and elegant sheen, then Charmeuse may be the perfect fabric for you. It is delicate to the touch yet durable enough for any of your home décor projects, like creating slipcovers. It is a satin-like polyester that holds a tastefully matte finish on one side and a shiny yet silky side on the other. Oh, and its machine washable!

  • Animal Woven Charmus Fabric Taupe Light – This isn’t going to be your standard go-to fabric for reupholstering your furniture, but sometimes, you got to let that inner animal out. Made of 97% polyester and 3% spandex, this fabric is a perfect throwback print to add a little pizazz and sass to your home. If you have a small chair that needs some work, this will fabric will help bring attention to an old piece without overpowering your home’s design.

Creating slipcovers for your old furniture can be a fun and inexpensive way to freshening up your home while still getting to keep a comfortable piece of furniture. Fabrics from Fabric by the Yard offers many different styles and prints for you to choose from and make ordering easy, fun, and keeps your project within your budget.

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De-Stress with Under Sink Organization Tips

Homes across America suffer from a similar problem: a severe lack of organization. Missing items amongst clutter seems to be a natural byproduct of a busy life. Unfortunately, it’s this same clutter that causes disorganization and leads us to feel stressed out and anxious. Taking steps to practice the chores we commonly avoid is the best way to help overcome this stress and add more efficiency to our lives. A great place to start re-organizing your home is your kitchen or bathroom. Starting with a spice rack, kitchen cabinet or under your bathroom sink can be a good small project to practice the basics of clearing out clutter and resorting that soap or spice you never remembered to open. For the purposes of this post we’re going to focus on practicing under-sink organization. Sorting through the area underneath your sink can help you leverage space and spur convenience in your home fast!

For most people, one of the messiest and most disorganized places in the house is the cabinet under their sink, both in the kitchen and in the bathroom. And while it is easier to leave your under-sink cabinet left to disarray, it will make most of your day-to-day tasks much more stressful. From staring down a sea of colored bottles, cans and scrubs, to blindly reaching into the back of your sink cabinet, spilling canister after canister in the process, only to grab the wrong bottle again and again. Getting your cabinets under control and properly organized is something we can all benefit from.

The first thing you’ll notice when you approach organizing your under sink cabinet is that space is limited in under-sink cabinets, which means it’s easy to tackle, and there are so many cool products and smart DIY projects that help you organize your under-sink cabinet and actually make it fun.

To start de stressing and start organizing, try the seven tips below.

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Seven Under Sink Organization Tips

  1. Storage Containers: Storage containers do a lot of the hard work when it comes to under kitchen sink organization. But, the key is making sure that each container has a designated use. Otherwise, you’ll end up with messy containers! It’s also fun to think outside of the (storage) box. What other items can you use to keep your under-sink clutter contained? Things like recycled aluminum cans, coffee mugs, and baskets can keep your organized under sink area from feeling boring and dull. And, as another bonus, you have a lot of great storage containers you can use all around your home already — you just have to get creative!
  2. Rethink Curtain Hardware: Installing a curtain rod under your sink might seem like a strange idea, but it’s actually one of the smartest under bathroom sink organization ideas you’ll find. A simple tension rod is easy to install, and it allows you to organize all sorts of clutter — from towels to bottles of cleaning products. You can also use the hardware from curtain kits to create handy trash bag holders. All you need is a small wooden dowel and the hardware!
  3. Label Storage Bins: By labeling storage bins you can prepare your cabinets and space for your space for when you need products most. You can make labeling fun too! There are lots of creative ways to make labels, including magnets, using a chalkboard paint and garden signs.
  4. Add a Spice Rack: Spice racks are another fun and cleave under sink organization idea because they are super versatile. Installing a spice rack on the inside of your cabinet door can help you organize your space, keeping a lot of the small items that can easily get lost right within reach.
  5. Add a Lazy Susan: Adding a lazy susan organizer in your cabinet is one of our favorites under sink organization ideas. Because they’re so convenient, you can quickly find and put back any of the items you use — and without any searching or digging.
  6. Be Practical: Know your space limit and try to only carry the essential products you need under your sink to limit risk and exposure. Many cleaners contain chemicals that damage and erode the wood base under your sink, so try to only carry what you need. Less is more, be practical about your cleaning products.

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While you’re organizing your under your sink cabinet you should also consider investing in a high quality under sink cabinet mat from Xtreme Mats. An under sink mat is like an insurance policy against leaks for a low one-time payment. Under sink mats offer the best overall protection soap, old, dust and water leaks while also helping stack, set and arrange your under sink products. And, thanks to their lifetime warranty, you can be sure that the investment lasts. So get to re-organizing today and while you’re at it, check out an under sink mat too.

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