Monthly Archives: August 2018

Alternative Uses For A Paint Brush

For those who love to DIY, it’s likely you have plenty of paint brushes in your home. Instead of letting them sit in the corner, waiting for your next project, try a few alternative ways to use a paint brush in your home.

From cleaning up a small home improvement task to spring cleaning, you can get these jobs done more efficiently with the help of a paint brush. Our friends at MyFixItUpLife are here to share with you three ways you may have not considered using a paint brush before.

 

Alternative Ways To Use A Paint Brush

  • Removing debris from computer keyboards
  • Dusting fabric lampshades
  • Removing cobwebs
  • Cleaning up dry food spills in the kitchen

 

Conclusion

Paint brushes aren’t the only item you can start to utilize differently. Consider what other things you have around your house that can be used for a different purpose to get a second life out of them.

Tree Maintenance Tips On Your Home

From old to new, the trees in your yard need proper care to thrive and look their best. Trees can be beneficial to any yard. Not only do they help the environment by reducing pollution, they also improve the value of your home and cut utility costs.

The benefits of trees in your yard are truly endless, but an unhealthy tree can cause problems for you that cost you money and curb appeal. See seven tree maintenance tips that will help keep the trees in your yard healthy and happy.

 

1. Regular Tree Maintenance

Regular tree maintenance can mean a variety of things. From tree trimming to regular watering, entrusting your trees to a pro can mean a longer and healthier life for them. It also has the benefit of taking that landscaping project off your plate. The average cost of tree maintenance is $425, with most homeowners spending between $247 and $470.

 

2. Tree Trimming

Much like we all need a haircut every few weeks, trees need to be trimmed to maintain their beautiful, healthy appearance. Tree trimming is a task you can do yourself or with the help of a landscaping pro. Regular tree trimming is important to remove dead branches and leaves so new ones can grow. You may also find that your tree needs some trimming if it’s getting a bit too close to the house. High winds, storms and loose branches can cause serious damage to your home, if not taken care of properly.

 

3. Soil Testing

If you’re finding that your trees are looking less than their best, soil may be the culprit. This is especially important if your tree is a seedling or you’ve recently replanted a tree. Soil testing can help you determine the pH levels and minerals already in your soil, and how you can improve it to see your trees truly thrive.

The average cost of soil testing is $1,142, with most homeowners paying between $947 and $1,515. Keep in mind, this is the cost for professional services. There are plenty of DIY services available at your local home garden store, however, they may not reveal all the details about your soil that could be important to tree growth.

Organized Kitchen Countertop

As a prominent feature in your kitchen, the countertops see a lot of traffic. For most of us, the counter is a place for more than just food prep. Children may sit here during homework time or it can be a gathering place for weekend entertaining. With so many daily functions, it’s important to guarantee a clean kitchen countertop for your health and aethstetics.

Finding what works to keep your countertop clean might be a challenge. But we’re here to share solutions to ensure a clean and functional kitchen countertop for all to enjoy.

 

1. Refinish Your Countertops

In some cases, your countertops can look old and worn. No amount of cleaning product can bring your countertop back to life again. Many homeowners worry they must replace their entire countertop, but refinishing can make it look new again for a lower price. The price largely depends on the type of finish you choose. Here’s what you can budget for:

  • Epoxy Finish: $2.92 to $7.17/sf
  • Laminate: $1.67 to $4.18/sf
  • Paint & Sealant: $1.17 to $2.33/sf

 

2. Know Your Countertop Material

Before you start cleaning the countertop, know what material it is and what solutions will work best. From butcher block wood to ceramic tile, a cleaning solution that works on one may not work on another. Here are a few tips for your specific kitchen countertop:

 

Ceramic Tile Countertops

One of the biggest issues when it comes to cleaning ceramic tiles is the grout. While day-to-day maintenance will help with aesthetics, most of the bacteria and staining can be found in the grout. Using grout cleaner two to three times per year for a deep clean will help keep your countertops in the best shape

 

Glass Countertops

While most cleaning solutions will work on glass countertops, be sure to not use a scouring pad or any other rough cleaning tools. This can cause scratches in the surface.

 

Laminate Countertops

Similarly to glass, laminate countertops also can’t withstand rough cleaning tools. A simple rag with soap and water will do the trick. Always wipe up spills as soon as they happen on laminate countertops, as they are more likely to stain this surface.

 

Natural Stone Countertops

While natural stone countertops look great, they can be sensitive to staining based on how absorbent they are. Natural stone countertops should be sealed regularly depending on the stone to prevent stains. Additionally, never use citrus cleaners on natural stone.

 

Quartz Countertops

Engineered stone, or quartz, countertops might be the easiest to clean and keep stain-free. Spills wipe up easily with a damp cloth and cleaner.

 

Stainless Steel Countertops

While stainless steel countertops are making a comeback, it can be harder to keep this material from streaks. While clean-up tends to be easier than most, to get a streak-free shine, buff with an olive or mineral oil regularly to maintain a beautiful shine.

Decorate Your Stair Risers

Depending on their placement in your home, your stairs can be a prominent decorative feature that shouldn’t be overlooked. The stair risers present a unique opportunity to decorate your space and give your stairwell a fresh, new look.

If you’re feeling stuck on how to decorate your stair rises, don’t worry, there are plenty of options. From traditional and timeless to bright and colorful, see a few decorative stair riser ideas.

 

What Is A Stair Riser?

While you may think about your stairs as one complete set, there are many parts that make up your stairs. The stair riser and tread are the two major parts that make up a staircase. The stair tread is what your foot lands on as you walk up the stairs and the riser is the vertical support that fills the space between each tread.  According to the International Association Of Certified Home Inspectors, the average height of a stair riser should be between 4” and 7 ¾”.

Before you consider your stair riser décor, you should inspect your steps to be sure they’re in good shape. With average wear and tear, creaks and squeaks can occur due to gaps occurring between the tread and riser.  With older stairs, you may find a crack or two. These should be repaired as soon as possible so the damage does not worsen and become a safety hazard. The average cost to repair stairs is $597, with most homeowners spending between $361 and $678.

 

1. Wallpaper Stair Risers

If there’s a pattern you love and want to incorporate it into your home, wallpaper is a great option to incorporate a seamless look into your home. This is also a great project to DIY. For those looking for a less permanent option, temporary wallpaper is a great choice to see if it’s truly the wallpaper pattern for you.

 

2. Painted Stair Risers

Paint is what most homeowners turn to when it comes to painted stair risers. Paint allows you to get creative and find the exact match to your home’s décor. It can also be an easy and fun weekend DIY project. Here are a few popular ideas in painted stair risers:

 

Multicolor Painted Stair Risers

Can’t decide on a painted stair color? Mix it up! Utilize a blend of your favorite hues to create a unique look for your stair riser décor. Paint each riser a different color. I love the look of various pastel colors for a pop of color. Or, contrast a neutral to a bright color to really make your stair décor stand out.

 

Solid Color Painted Stair Risers

For one cohesive look in your room, solid color painted stairs are the way to go.  If you have a color that matches perfectly, paint each riser for a uniform look.

 

Ombre Painted Stair Risers

The hottest look in painted stairs right now is the ombre style. This takes a lighter color and transitions it to a darker shade with each step. Blue, red and green make great choices for ombre painted stairs.

Water Filtration For Your Home

Water is vital. We use it to drink, cook and clean with. Of course, we want the best for our families and that’s why having clean water is so important. It impacts the health of all those who enter.

Do you stop to consider where your water comes from? This all differs on where you live, but tap water is treated with chemicals to eliminate bacteria and other contaminants. Some of these chemicals, however, you may not want in your body when you reach for a glass of water. If you’re ready to take control of what’s coming into your house, see a few water purification options for your home.

 

What’s In Your Water?

While you may be comfortable drinking water directly from the tap, depending on where you live, you could be ingesting harmful materials. You might not be able to taste or see it, but your tap water can contain chemicals, bacteria, debris and more from your municipality. Here are few contaminates you can find in tap water according to the EPA:

  • Chlorine
  • Fluoride
  • Lead
  • Nitrate
  • Viruses

 

Water Filtration System Costs

The best way to eliminate unwanted chemicals and contaminants from the water is with a filtration system. This helps rid tap water of impurities and can provide peace of mind that the water you’re drinking is safe. There are many ways to treat tap water at home. The average cost to install a water treatment and purification system is $1,517, with most homeowners spending between $997 and $1,742.

 

Pitcher & Faucet Filtration Systems

The most common and cheapest option for your home is a pitcher or faucet filtration system. These use charcoal filters to remove contaminants from tap water. The pitcher must be refilled when used while other methods involve a simple faucet attachment. The filters must also be changed regularly.

The drawback to this system is that it does not remove all the chemicals and contaminates from the water. It will reduce the amount of added chlorine and may improve the taste. These tend to be the budget-friendly options for homeowners, with systems costing between $30 and $100 as a first investment, but will require more filter changes and purchases over time.

Keep Small Rodents Out Of Your Home

There’s nothing worse than sharing your home with an unwelcomed guest, especially when they can cause so much damage to your home. Small rodents can cause problems both in and out of your home, with a mess left for you to take care of.

The discovery of small rodents in the home is certainly a surprise to both you and the animal. The process of safely eliminating can be a challenge for all. It’s important to make every effort as humane as possible too. However, the first step to eliminating small rodents from your home is prevention. Here are a few tips to do so.

 

Small Rodent List

You may be wondering what qualifies as a small rodent. It could be any mammal, from a hamster to a rat. But for this article, we’ll be focusing on the animals we don’t typically take in as pets. Here are a few of the small rodents you don’t want in or around your house:

  • Mice
  • Rats
  • Squirrels
  • Rabbits
  • Opossums
  • Raccoons

 

Pest Control Costs

While there are many humane DIY options available for pest control, it’s a good idea to prepare for any costs that might be associated before purchasing materials or deciding to call a pro. The average cost to hire an animal control is $291, with most homeowners spending between $206 and $313.