5 Easy Spring Home Improvement Projects

5 Easy Spring Home Improvement Projects

Spring is the sign of new life and new beginnings, and even your homes can reflect that change! And while you may be looking into heavy renovations such as gutter cleanup or roof repairs, even your smaller furnishings can also use a little updating to make your home more spring-like. Spring into action this Spring with these home renovation tips that can take your home to a breezier, lighter atmosphere befitting the season!

  1. Experiment with character

Wall textures such as exposed brick or grunge walls and accent walls are all the range these days. They are great accents that can bring life to a space, can make for a great background (especially for pictures!) and can add character to otherwise plain walls. Peel-and-stick wall panels (for textures) and peel-and-stick paper (for accents) are great for this job as they won’t need you to take down a wall and have it rebuilt with your chosen texture – just peel and stick to your existing walls, and they’re up!

This can also be done with floors. Peel-and-stick tiles or wood plank flooring can give your house a different kind of edge and personality depending on what character you’re going for, and they can make the whole room look refreshed and new as well.

  1. Update your fixtures

Sometimes, a little difference between your fixtures can mean the difference between a suffocating, drab home to an airy, comfortable one. The style, color, and the way you group together fixtures can drastically affect the way any room looks with them. A big player in this are light fixtures: even changing the tint of light that you get can make your room look more open and bright as opposed to dimmer lights that would probably work more with colder seasons.

If you’re not ready to invest in new couches or cabinets, consider replacing some accent fixtures such as lights and other small decorations for ones that fit the season. Changing sofa covers or having cabinets, chairs, and tables repainted can also be inexpensive ways to add a new image to your home!

If you’re not sure that the pieces you pic go well together or if you can find them all in one place, don’t worry. As it is one of the most commonly-bought items online, home furnishing and decors that you need can be found with a few clicks. The internet can also help you find what you’re looking for based on your past searches, interest, and preferences.

  1. Lighten up your windows

A key characteristic of changing your home atmosphere lies with your windows. When they are closed or accentuated with heavy drapery, it can look heavy, cold or drab. Heavy curtains are perfect for colder seasons, but for a season such as Spring, lightweight curtains are the way to go. Curtains made of lace or other thin cloths (often in light shades as well) can let more light to flow into the room, as well as added ventilation from outside. For an added touch of nature, you can also go with bamboo shades, or even bold and graphic with geometric panels.

  1. Update even small details

Even the simplest details in your home can make enough of a difference. Vases, statuettes, frames and even mirrors can change the way the entire room looks and feels depending on how well they accentuate a certain theme or mood. In fact, even a simple space such as a living room have certain points that need to be taken into consideration when redesigning it.

And even if you’ve never really thought about it, handle pulls and knobs can also affect the way the overall room looks. Old-fashioned, worn, and dirty handles can spoil an otherwise freshly-updated cabinet or door. And contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to use eccentric, out-of-this-world styles for them to stand out. As long as they complement the rest of their surroundings, you’re well on your way to having a visually-appealing room!

  1. Don’t neglect your backyard (or your small outdoor space)!

Spring is all about enjoying the great outdoors, and that goes without saying that your outdoors should reflect that, too! Plant flowers and shrubs, have some outdoor seating or lounge, and even decorate it with outdoor lights and garden knick-knacks such as bunny or fairy statuettes! For those who don’t have rolling lawns, project the image of nature with a few potted plants – the more colorful, the better! If you are worried that you have very little time for maintaining plants with your lifestyle, don’t worry – there are plenty of low-maintenance plants that you can cultivate!

Spring is definitely the best time to update your house. From the warm, cozy, but heavy setup from last winter to the airy, bright and cheery vibes of spring, it’s like being one with the change! So go ahead and give new life to your homes for the turn of the season!

Guest Post By:

I am Carlton Coleman and I am the owner of SIGN WITHIN superstore, which is an e-commerce business under the umbrella of the The Sign Within Academy, LLC.  This company seeks to not only provide an online shopping experience with great deals, discounts, and rebates but to partner and support non-profit organizations that speak to hearts, stretch minds and serve the whole of humanity to further their causes.  I am a strong believer that you make a living by what you get but you make a life by what you give.

How to Keep Pests Away From Your Garden

garden

Springtime marks the beginning of another gardening season. You are out and about planting, pruning and making sure that every inch of your garden looks just perfect. You are just admiring your flower garden, when a cat runs right through the flowers and rips them to shreds. And cats are not the only animals that can ruin your garden. Many types of animals come out during the spring, so here are some ways in which you can defend yourself.

Mole repellents

All the tips here are going to be humane, telling you simply how to keep the animals away, rather than kill or harm them. The best way to get rid of moles is to simply plant the right things in your garden. Plants like daffodils, marigolds and alliums have contents that are natural mole repellents, and will surely keep those pesky moles out if planted around the perimeter of your yard.

Keeping your plants safe

Plant-eating animals are mostly small and not really easy to catch, so you have to protect your plants in a different way. A popular remedy is chopping up and boiling some hot peppers, then pouring the water into a spray bottle and spraying it over your plants. This is safe for your plants and will keep any bugs off. Still, this is not a good solution when it comes to edible plants – imagine putting fresh mint in your lemonade and tasting a hot pepper! For an alternative, you can use turmeric. Grate it and infuse it with some water, then repeat the spraying tactic on all of your plants!  If spider mites are your problem, a mixture of flour, water and buttermilk sprayed on your trees once a week will keep the mites at bay!

Recycling food scraps

Organic scraps are not only good for compost, but also great for many other things. You can bury banana peels two inches in the ground next to the plants that are attacked by ants or aphids to make sure your plants will be safe. And if your problem is more of the slimier kind, use crushed eggshells to form a fence against any snails and slugs that want to enter the forbidden territory.

How to repel bigger animals

If you have a problem with raccoons, remember that they do not go well with dogs. If you don’t have a dog of your own, fake it by placing some dog hair around your yard and kiss the raccoon problem goodbye.  For cats or squirrels, flour mustard and cayenne pepper is your solution. Place the mixture around the perimeter of your yard, or mix it with water to make a spray.  Another option that requires much less effort is using high tech defence. Having an ultrasonic pest repellent, like the one from Bird Control Australia, will make your life a lot easier. You won’t notice it, but potential intruders of the animal kind definitely will! It can keep away insects or any animals, depending on how you set it up.

You are now ready to continue with your daily gardening activities without worrying about any pests, big or small, ruining all your hard work. Try and be as humane as possible with all of the animals, because there are always ways to simply drive them away without exterminating them – and placing various poisons around your garden can also be dangerous if you have kids or pets, not to mention make all of your produce less enjoyable. After all, a few birds chirping around your garden might just be that special touch that is missing for a real fairytale garden!

 

Blooming Gardens: 4 Of The Best Flowers To Plant This Spring

Blooming Gardens 4 Of The Best Flowers To Plant This Spring

When the spring season arrives, you begin to see the green leaves sprout on the trees and colorful flowers growing from the ground. Flowers need warmth and light to grow, which is why they tend to do a bit better in the spring with the longer days. There is often more water in the form of rain in the spring, which is another component that flowers need to grow. There are a few flowers that grow best during this time of the year compared to others, adding brightness to the lawn.

Pansy

This is a dainty flower with large petals. The center of the flower is usually yellow or light in color. Many of the pansies that you see are pink, purple or red. This flower grows best in the cool mornings of the spring season. The leaves are slightly curved along the edges, making it easier for them to capture raindrops and water that is given to them during the day. Plant the pansies in an area of the yard that sees a bit of shade as they don’t do well with the full sun beating down on them.

Iris

The iris is a flower that can grow to a tall size. They are best placed near a porch where they can climb up a trellis or a column of the porch. There are a few colors to choose from, but you usually see purple, light pink and white. The flowers blend easily together to create new colors. Most flowers will tend to get their full blooms toward the end of the spring season. The strong petals work well with an irrigation system, like those offered by Hydrotech Irrigation Co, in the yard. They need to be in an area that sees a good bit of the sun during the day.

Daffodil

Nothing will put you in a cheerful mood like a bright flower. The daffodil looks almost like a lion if you look at it from a distance. There are several sizes and shapes of the flower, such as those that have a trumpet design to those that look like a mane on a lion. Don’t water the flower too often, and keep it in the full sun.

Tulips

If there is a flower to use as a symbol of spring, it’s the tulip. You can plant the tulip along a sidewalk, around a tree or anywhere else in the yard to give a bright look to the house. There are numerous colors available, giving you a variety of ways to accent the home with the delicate flower.

Flowers in the spring often cheer up anyone after the dreary winter months. It’s best to plant the flowers at the end of winter so that the flowers have time to grow in the warm weather that arrives in the spring. Take care to add just the right amount of water to the soil as the flowers grow.

What Preventative Maintenance Does an HVAC System Require?

What Preventative Maintenance Does an HVAC System Require

Maintaining your heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system helps to lower your monthly energy bills. Preventive maintenance also extends the system’s lifespan and protects breakdowns that make an impact on your comfort. There are four key steps to HVAC preventive maintenance that should be performed at least twice per year.

Changing the Air Filter

Changing the air filter is essential to an HVAC system’s performance, efficiency and longevity. The air filter is usually housed in its own chamber or within the air blower portion of the system. It may be framed with cardboard and disposable, or it may be reusable. A reusable filter will be cleaned and put back into the unit. A disposable air filter will be replaced. The filter should be changed every 90 days.

Cleaning the Condensate Line

In air conditioners and heat pumps, the condensate line is responsible for draining the water that is condensed during a cooling cycle. The condensate line can grow mold and algae. If the growth gets too thick, the condensate line can become obstructed. If it gets obstructed, water can back up into the equipment and cause a malfunction. Cleaning the condensate line consists of bleaching the interior of the pipe, removing algae and mold and rinsing it with plain water.

Checking the Refrigerant

Air conditioners and heat pumps use a chemical refrigerant such as R-410-A. Some companies, such as Classic Air and Heating, know that if the refrigerant tubing or chamber develops a leak, the system will not operate efficiently. The system could freeze up or simply blow room-temperature air. HVAC technicians use special equipment to check the level of the refrigerant. If it is low, the refrigerant can be charged after the leak is found and repaired.

Cleaning and Lubricating Motors and Fans

Furnaces, air conditioners, ventilation units and dehumidifiers all have motors and fans. The motors and fans can collect dust and debris that inhibits their motion. These parts are cleaned and lubricated during a maintenance visit. Proper lubrication of the motors and fans reduce the risk of overheating and minimize the amount of noise made by the unit while it operates.

HVAC maintenance should be performed by a licensed, bonded and insured provider. It is a good idea to schedule maintenance for the air conditioner in the spring and a checkup for the furnace in the autumn. Heat pumps and other equipment that is used all year long should be serviced twice per year, also in the autumn and spring to identify and repair any defects.

Easy Springtime Fixups Homeowners Should Put on Their Checklist

Easy Springtime Fixups Homeowners Should Put on Their Checklist

With spring come warmer temperatures and more items on one’s to-do list. While homeowners may want to bask in the glow of a sunny spring day, there are a few easy projects that they should look into first. These should be quick and easy now and will ensure that homeowners are not hit with costly repairs later.

Garage Door Reinforcement

The spring is the perfect time to look into a home’s garage door mechanisms. For one, garage door springs can be weakened from winter’s cold temperatures. Replacing one or two springs now will keep undue pressure off the rest of the garage door system. In addition, homeowners may want to look into reinforcing their garage doors to protect from wind damage during spring and summer storms.

Roof Repair

Early in the spring before torrential summer downpours arrive, homeowners should scan their roofs themselves to see if the shingles and other materials are wearing down. Most roofs are designed to last approximately 15 to 20 years although steel roofs last longer. Even if it is not time for a full re-roofing, homeowners may still benefit from minor repairs and replacements of some shingles, which should only set them back $200 or less.

Gutter and Soffit Cleaning

If the gutters were not cleaned out in the fall, the spring is prime time for doing this to ensure that rain does not cause leaky gutters that pull away from the house. Some companies, like D.S. Bahr Construction Inc., realize how important it is to keep your soffit in good repair, especially when it comes to leaks in the roof. Cleaning out the soffits and vents will also provide circulation to the attic to cut down on cooling expenses in the summer.

Air Conditioner Maintenance

Homeowners should have a technician check out their air conditioning units before the start of the hot season. It is better to take care of problems now than to have the unit break down on the hottest day of summer. Homeowners can also clean off their units with a hose while it is off. This will take care of leaves, pollen and other items that have gotten stuck in the housing.

Once homeowners have taken care of these tasks, they can be sure that their homes will be cool and comfortable all summer long. Most of the time, these easy repairs can preclude major, costly repairs later in the year and can ensure that one’s home stays in prime condition should a family ever want to sell. Plus, a well-maintained home is the perfect place for summer relaxation and parties with friends and family.