Post Party Furniture Cleaning

 

I don’t know how many other single parents have had this happen to you before but a few months ago I got home from a three day business meeting and low and behold I come home to a fully demolished home. I had left my 17 year old high school senior, Billy, to stay home and watch our beautiful northern VA house for me while I was gone and even specifically said no parties, but apparently he wasn’t listening too well. I had actually come home a day early which is why he hadn’t taken the time to clean up a little and was still passed out on the couch. There were beer cans everywhere, food on the walls, broken glass, and stains all over my couch that was handed down to me from my grandmother. I was very disappointed in Billy and let’s just say he had a good punishment of volunteer work and classes on the dangers of underage drinking. After getting most of the mess cleaned up I was still left with the unknown stains all over my grandmother’s couch. I knew I was going to need a superior furniture cleaning specialist for this task.

I recalled back when my friend Kathy was cleaning up her house and she had used Absolute Carpet Care. I remember her saying how great those guys took care of her and how they helped her out with all of her upholstery cleaning needs. I decided to give them a try and I was impressed from the get go. They were very kind when I spoke with them on the phone and they sounded like they knew their stuff. They also had assured me that they were the best furniture cleaning service around the Alexandria and Arlington VA area. With all that being said I trusted Kathy’s advice and I decided to try them out.  I was very impressed that they were able to come out the following day because I didn’t want this stain to get further saturated.

They arrived ten minutes early and were fully prepared to tackle this problem head on. They told me that it wouldn’t take that long to clean which was a relief because I had a very busy day ahead of me. While they were cleaning they explained to me that the solution they use is a plant based solution which doesn’t harm the environment at all. It literally took about 30 minutes and all the stains were gone. These folks did wonders to my family heirloom and I would suggest them to anyone looking for an excellent furniture cleaning or upholstery cleaning.

DIY Washing Machine Repair Gone Wrong

Have you ever tried to tackle an appliance repair and it starts out great then slowly results into a worse problem. Well that exact situation happened to me not too long, creating a whole lot of unwanted stress. All I wanted was some reliable washing machine repair advice! I’m from the town of Hoover AL, right next to Birmingham, and I was always taught that if a problem occurs to always try to fix it yourself first. As you can probably tell, I was raised in a family of DIY’ers! There wasn’t a single thing that my dad could fix. But I wasn’t my dad and I would start to try and fix something but could never seem to quit get it right all the time.

washer repair

In this case, I had gone on many DIY sites to learn do some washing machine repair on my year old LG Model. The problem was that machine would fill up all the way with the water but would insist on not spinning. It was also during a very bad time being that I needed clean clothes so I could get on my way to the beach for a week long get away. I was in a rush so that may have been part of the reason I couldn’t finish the job. All of these DIY washing machine repair sites led me in the direction that the lid switch is most likely the culprit so I went ahead with their suggestions. I was instructed to buy a tool which I had no idea how to use called a multimeter, which ended up costing me about 18 dollars. After purchasing I then had to go through the manual and figure out how to use the darn thing. After understanding a little bit about how to use the multimeter I then began the dirty work. I removed the wires connected to the switch just like they said and put the tester’s probes to the connectors of the switch. When I opened and closed the lid it was suppose read back to me continuity and no continuity if it was working but it didn’t which meant I needed to buy a new lid switch, so I did. I spent around about 40 bucks and installed it in  exactly as they said. Presto….right!? Nope. Still didn’t work. Another project messed up by yours truly. Luckily I have a go to appliance repair crew at Mr. Appliance Over the Mountain in Birmingham AL. They are always reliable if you find yourself in my shoes.

The Many Benefits of Home Window Tint

As homeowners, we are always trying to find better ways to make our house more comfortable and energy efficient. I have been upgrading my Northern Indiana home for the pastcouple years and one really great and affordable add-on I discovered was window tinting. It really changed my life around turning my house into a money saver while at the same time creating lighting that was easier on the eyes. I had many windows in most my rooms and these 3M window films really did the job on preventing unwanted sun glare.

happy home owner

I had originally found out about residential window tint by doing a little home improvement research online and came across the window tint experts in Fort Wayne IN called Sun Control Center. They were extremely professional and had lots of experience in this field. Through talking with their associates I learned some important benefits that incorporating window tint into my home will provide.

Accompanied with filtering sun glares, window tint in your home will also block out harmful UV rays that may affect you or your loved ones.  In fact a great window film like 3M’s brand can block up to 90-99% of all harmful UV rays. Reducing possible cancerous skin problems should be a strong benefactor. By reducing sun glares we also protect all of our furniture, fabrics, and carpeting.  The sun’s rays over time can damage your priceless furnishings by causing them to fade.

Another leading advantage that window tinting will bring to your home is the added durability it brings to your windows. The layer of film actually will prevent glass fragments from scattering across your room in the event that a window is broken preventing any injuries. It is also an added barrier from any future break-ins making it just a little bit harder to penetrate. The more time the bad guys need to break in, the greater the chance will be of them getting caught.

In my home I also took advantage of the privacy and decorative options. I incorporated frosted tint with flower embellishments in my bathroom to not only add a pleasing aesthetic feel but to block out any unwanted eyes. These are great if you want to change up the scene in your home.

One extremely important benefit that really put a smile on my face was the drop in my energy bill. My new home window tint is definitely an investment that has been giving back to me. One suggestion, if you decide to take on some window film into your home, is to use a professional like the guys at Sun Control Center in Northern Indiana. Good luck folks!

Window Replacement Equals Money Saved

If you stay in your home long enough chances are you will have to look for home replacement windows. Over time, they become damaged and there’s only so much cleaning you can do. New windows also often offer greater energy efficiency which helps bring your bills down … a benefit everyone can relate with. If you plan to sell your house new windows can definitely improve your curb appeal bring greater value to you initial investment. I have found the real estate market to be very competitive in Philly so finding a superior window replacement company is a must.  I have found Renewal by Anderson double hungto be the best when it comes to local solutions in this industry.

 

Replacement windows, unlike ones for new construction, fit into existing frames so you will need to buy windows that are the same size as your current ones or hire a construction company to install new fittings. Generally, to keep cost down, the best option is to stay with the same size frames you currently have. There are many different options for trims when considering home replacement windows. Wood windows offer the greatest range of color choices. They can be painted almost any conceivable color, as long as you can find the paint. We once had a house in our neighborhood that was painted pink with contrasting purple wood trimmed windows! I wasn’t too crazy about those colors but to each his own. However, wood also requires the greatest amount of upkeep. You must periodically repaint or it will quickly deteriorate. Painting is a very daunting task and can be costly to outsource with a painting company. When selecting home replacement windows many people prefer low maintenance options. Vinyl windows are almost fully maintenance free. While the color selection is limited, they last for many years to come with only normal washing. This can be done with the rental of a power washer. They are also suited to withstand many different climates.

 

When choosing replacements you also want to consider not only price but also the warranty. Some windows, especially inexpensive ones, may develop problems with the latches and sliders. You want to be sure the company selling you the windows stands behind their product like the product lines at Renewal by Anderson. If you want to maximize your energy efficiency then look for energy star labeled windows. Many of these qualify for federal and local rebate programs which can decrease the cost of your home window replacements.

How my Simple Window Renovations Changed My View on Life

So I’m  the kind of guy who is always looking for a new way to improve my home  whether it’s an addition that will decrease my living cost or merely an accent that will please the eye. I had been talking to my friend Joe about the renovations he had been doing to his new house in Richmond Va and he had mentioned how he just installed 3M window tinting to all of his windows and how much he was already enjoying them.  I decided to check out 3M’s website and see for myself.

3m-film-tint

I was amazed with all the options displayed on the site. Not only did they provide window films that offer sun control but also options that gave safety, security, and decorative themes. Their sun control films offered enticing savings of up t

o 30%, which in my case I would save 21% according to their potential savings calculator on their site. This would save me approximately $548 a year!!! Great investment! They also have the option to incorporate safety, security, and sun control all in one option. This was really cool because the safety/ security films hold glass panes together when struck. This can slow down an intruder or prevent any injury when broken during accidents.

After being all hyped up by the many benefits of 3M Window tinting I decided to commit and make a purchase. I was easily directed to a nearby 3M window film provider – Solar Film VA, right in the heart of Richmond VA not far from Henrico County. Here I talked with an associated and we set up a date to come get an estimate done. The estimate didn’t take long at all and I was very pleased with the affordable rates. He measured up all the windows and I decided to go with a sun control/security tinting feature.

It’s been three months since my home window tinting installation and I am super satisfied. My cooling bills surpassed the 21% anticipated deduction from the savings calculator and I have greater control of my homes temperature. I no longer have to worry about anymore sun glare on my computer screen and a more ambient lighting gives better room to relax. I also have greater comfort in knowing that its more difficult to break into my house.

I know for a fact that if I bought another house I would definitely choose 3M window films again.  With so many options to choose from anyone can incorporated them into your home and I highly suggest you do!

Miss Working Out in the Yard? Winter Is a Great Time for Some Landscape Planning

I enjoy living in Chesapeake, but I have to admit that winters can be dreary. While we don’t have to contend with the snow and ice of more northern climes, it can be cold, muddy, and a bit damp here in Virginia. And as I write, it’s starting to snow. It’s enough to keep me indoors, and out of the yard that I love.

Cold or not, spring will be here soon. So while I’m cocooned here in my home, I’m already starting to imagine some possible landscaping improvements. I’m spending some time sketching, some time web browsing to clarify some ideas, and I’m making the most of my time indoors. If you, too, are stuck indoors when you would rather be out working in your yard, now is a wonderful time to do a little landscape planning.

If you don’t already have some specific plans for your yard, creating a place to keep inspiring ideas is a great way to start. Make a folder to keep clippings of any magazine articles that included something of interest. Or create a digital folder on your computer where you can keep images, notes, and links to inspiring things you find online.

Let’s say you could use some inspiration, but don’t know where to start. Why not start by searching for a favorite plant or a tree? Do you like formal gardens or casual ones? Would you like to have fruit-bearing trees or shrubs, or a garden that smells wonderful in the summertime? Perhaps you would like to surround yourself with a favorite color – purple, anyone? Finding inspiration can be as easy as searching for “purple trees and shrubs” online.

Once you find something that inspires you, use it as a starting point. Perhaps you discover that you would love to have a purple Japanese maple tree in your yard. That’s a great start. You can build on that by reading about maples online, or by visiting your local nursery and asking the staff if they could show you some purple maples that grow well where you live.

As you learn, take down notes. Save pictures. Ask questions of people who know, like a local horticulturalist or landscaper. Keep track of which plants would flourish in the sunniest parts of your yard, or underneath the shade of your largest trees. Consider which plants will fill in your open spaces quickly, or take their time to reach maturity. When you start to get a more clear idea about how you would like your yard to look, taking some measurements and pencil-sketching out some ideas is a great next step.

If you love the idea of a beautiful yard, but you’re less sure about your landscaping planning abilities, call a landscaper. A few years ago, I called Grounds Guys. They put a basic landscaping plan together for me, and then planted a selection of trees and shrubs throughout my yard. Since then, I’ve taken over the planning, but I still rely on Grounds Guys to mow my lawn and keep my yard neat and clean. They’ve also planted a couple of larger trees for me.

Later today, I’ll be sketching out some ideas to add more color to a shadier part of my yard. It will be a few weeks before I’m able to purchase the flowers and shrubs I need to execute my plans, but I don’t mind. I’m perfectly content to spend a February afternoon indoors, spending a little time thinking about my landscape when it’s too cold to be outside. Maybe you would enjoy it, too.

Green Carpet Cleaning: Another Way to Be Eco-Friendly

For most of us, being environmentally-friendly doesn’t involve any grand gestures or sweeping changes. Going green involves making a lot of small choices and showing some commitment to doing what’s right – even when it comes with a little extra cost or effort. Recycling, composting, conserving energy and water, biking to work, using biodegradable materials – all of these add up to a life that leaves a smaller impact on the environment.

When most people think of ways they can be more responsible for the environment, they don’t think about carpet cleaning. But over the past few years, that’s been changing. More carpet cleaning companies have embraced green practices that aren’t that different from the ones you employ at home.

Not so long ago, carpet cleaning required the use of harsh chemicals, soaps, and detergents. Some of these chemicals and soaps were pulled away from the carpet during the cleaning, only to eventually be poured into our water systems; those that weren’t pulled away remained on your carpet. That’s not good for the planet or for you, as introducing such substances in your home can cause allergy or asthma symptoms.

Today, green carpet cleaners use carpet cleaning solutions that are natural, non-toxic, and safe for children and pets; they use less water, and more energy-efficient machines; and they’re less likely to cause any personal health problems.

Thankfully, there are a several green carpet cleaners in the greater Chicago area – I use K & T Chem-Dry, based in Joliet. I like their carpet cleaning service because it’s both green and effective. Instead of soaps and chemicals, K & T deep-cleans the carpet with the power of carbonation and safe ingredients taken from nature; they also use a lot less water than traditional steam cleaners. Other local cleaners use methods that are also effective as well as eco-friendly.

Many of us are willing to sacrifice a bit to make the world a little better place, but insisting in green carpet cleaning isn’t one of those sacrifices. Make the eco-friendly choice, and you’ll keep some chemicals out of the environment, help to ensure your good health, and still get to enjoy a bright, clean, touchable carpet. Green carpet cleaning is a win-win.

Choosing a Hardwood Floor That Will Age Well

One reason hardwood floors are so popular is that they can retain their beauty for years. In fact, some would argue that wood floors become more beautiful with age, as they acquire a rich patina over time. But long-lasting beauty isn’t something that can be taken for granted. If you’re planning to install new floors, you should know what you’ll be able to expect from them in the future. Let’s take a look at some of the factors you’ll need to consider.

Hardwood floors come in several dozen types of woods, and the choices can be almost overwhelming. But you can focus your options on the right woods by examining your lifestyle and your priorities. If you’re particularly concerned about durability – if you’ve got pets and kids, for example – you’ll want to lean towards harder woods. If you’re a city-dweller with no pets or children, and can expect lighter traffic on your floors, a softer floor that captures your fancy might be just fine for you.

The Janka hardness test makes it easy to compare woods, and to identify better choices for your lifestyle. Red oak, a very popular wood, is considered to be average in hardness and has a Janka score of 1290. Woods such as pine, walnut, teak, and cherry are softer, have lower Janka scores, and are more likely to show marks and dents; woods such as hickory, pecan, or wenge have higher scores and will be more durable. You can find the Janka scores for a great number of woods here on Wikipedia.

As mentioned above, hardwood floors acquire a patina as they age, and this patina varies depending on the type of wood. This is especially true today, as more exotic woods are used in flooring. Wenge, for example, will darken to a near black; purpleheart can evolve from a reddish-brown to a dark purple over time. At minimum, you can expect your floor to grow lighter or darker. With that in mind, it’s clear that you should plan to choose a wood that not only looks great today, but will continue to appeal to you as its color changes over time.

There is another factor that affects the color of a wood floor, and that’s the finish. Modern floors can feature either water-based or oil-based polyurethane finishes, or can simply be oiled. Water-based poly finishes let the natural color of the wood shine through, and their own color changes little over time. Oil-based poly finishes provide their own color, lending the floor a darker, warmer, more golden tone; these finishes also tend to darken over time, and while many find that change in color pleasing, it’s certainly something you need to consider.

Although oiled finishes lack the protective sheen of their polyurethane cousins, they’re quite durable. Oiled floors tend to quickly look older and lived-in, but their surfaces are actually less subject to everyday wear and tear. Oil finishes also develop their own patina over time, so you’ll want to take care to learn what you can expect in the future.

If you’re early in the process of planning a hardwood floor installation, you ought to look for local installers that work with a variety of types of finishes as well as a large selection of woods. Not all installers employ more than one type of finish, as many strongly prefer one over the others. The installer who handled my floors, Buff & Coat, offers several types of finishes so you can choose the one that best suits your lifestyle and will complement the color of wood you plan to use.

No matter what you do, you should plan to do your homework. With any luck, you’ll be living with your hardwood floor for the next few decades. If you take the time to make smart decisions before installation, you’ll be able to love your floor for decades, too.

Finding a Service Provider for Window Replacement in Chicago

If you’re planning to replace your windows here in Chicago, you’ve got a lot to consider. The choices can be almost overwhelming, but you should be able to greatly down your options by seeking out the answers to a few basic questions.

Number and Type of Windows

The first thing to do is figure out how many windows you’ll need to install; some windows may be greater priorities than others, but you’ll probably want to replace all of your windows at once – be sure to count them all. You’ll also want to identify your priorities: Are your choices strictly-budget driven? Are you trying to increase the energy efficiency of your home? Is a handsome appearance your top priority?

Because we live in Chicago, energy-efficiency and durability in tough weather conditions should always be considered. Addressing each of these questions will help to identify the windows you’ll need to accomplish your goals.

After you begin to narrow down the composition of your windows, you’ll also want to identify any other considerations: Do you want an individual window to open? Does the space (or lack of space) around your window dictate where and how it can open?

The more questions you ask, the more questions you’ll discover. The key is to take your time, and plan to do your homework. Are you ready to begin? A simple internet search for a phrase like “replacement windows Chicago” should give you lots of results for products as well as replacement window installers in the city. You can then use this information to decide exactly which room gets which type of window.

Quality and Brand of Windows

Price is very relative in this industry because of the availability of a wide range of products for the purpose. However, you should be able to narrow down your choices by first specifying a budget. Once you establish a ballpark figure, you might adjust it depending on your new window’s ability to add to your home’s value or save money on your utility bills.

Once your budget is clarified a bit, you’ll find many online resources that display prices for particular types of window. A lot of sites will let you compare products side-by-side so you can easily see the features, advantages, and prices of each type.

Reputation of the Service Provider

The service provider you choose should be an ethically-run business that focuses on customer satisfaction above all else. To find out more about the company, you can search for reviews about them on the Internet. You can find reviews on websites like Google, Yelp, and Angie’s List.

However, take everything you read with a pinch of salt because there is no guarantee of authenticity for web information. Rather, use what you find as a guideline that tells you which providers to avoid and which might merit some consideration.

Once you have all of this information, you’ll be more confident when speaking to Chicago’s replacement window sellers and installers. You’ll know which questions to ask, the kinds of answers you’ll need, and whether or not you’re dealing with a reputable company.

How Replacement Windows Can Pay for Themselves

  Nowadays it seems as if, unless you have a new home, replacement windows are considered to be a necessity, not a luxury.  Everyone knows that by replacing your windows you can increase not only the curb appeal of your home, but the energy efficiency as well. But do they really save you enough money that the windows will actually pay for themselves over time?  Let’s see.

insulating fiberglass windowMost fiberglass replacement windows are dual pained glass with some type of gas in between the panes. When installed properly, these types of windows should save the average consumer about 25 per cent on their energy bills. This is a conservative estimate, by the way as I can attest to having just had these new windows installed. Now if you assume an average home owner has an energy bill of 100 dollars a month, the 25 per cent decrease in energy consumption would be a savings of 300 dollars per year. After 10 years, that would be a 3,000 dollar savings. Of course, this would depend on the number of windows replaced, how much the original windows cost, etc. Studies have shown that most homeowners recover the cost of their windows within 3 to 5 years. These are just estimates however and I would be wary of any window installer who said any window would completely pay for itself in a certain time period.

Insulation for Comfort in Your Home

When you are talking about home improvement, there is nothing perhaps more irritating than having windows that have little or no insulation. You feel every little draft; single pained windows just seem to radiate cold or heat. I’ve sat next to windows that, although they were obviously closed, leaked so badly that it felt as if they were open.

Replacement windows are big selling points when selling your home, they will make you much more comfortable when you are inside your home, they will pay for themselves in energy savings quickly, what other reason do you need to replace your old style windows with new replacement windows? Some people simply want a new look or feel its time for an upgrade, but unless its 75 degrees out all year around where you live my number one priority when looking to buy new windows would be how efficient they are.

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