Benefits of Metal Garages

Typically, people associate metal garage with two things: car and clutter. While that may certainly be the case—if putting cars in garages is your sort of thing—it doesn’t have to limit you. Whether you’re storing the extras of your household, doing your laundry, housing the family car, substituting it as a barn, practicing for America’s Got Talent, or providing the family handyman his own roomy workshop, you want everything within to stay dry, warm, and safe.

Whatever dragons you have lurking in the garage, your money would be best spent investing in a metal structure for a number of reasons. Steel doesn’t rot, doesn’t burn, doesn’t show the typical signs of wear and tear over time, and cannot be eaten away by termites, rodents, or mold. Steel can also be insulated extremely well, keeping the heat inside in the winter and outside in the summer.

If your country is prone to bad weather, steel can actually be a lifesaver (or a home-saver, at any rate) since it’s conditioned to be durable and sturdy enough to endure even severe storms, earthquakes, and cyclones—up to 150 mph winds. Homes constructed of steel stand an increased chance of, well, steeling themselves against such conditions.

Low maintenance, faster and easier to DIY, and with a wide variety of custom designs on the market to guarantee the superior building you deserve, steel buildings can deliver on your individual needs.  And they can be attractive, too; with a savvy custom designing company, you can have your metal garage refined with paints and finishes to blend in with your home or any adjacent structure.

Finally, you’ll find that DIY is easier than you think! A simple and sturdy design will enable anyone with only minimal constructing experience to align the pieces of the puzzle; you can order everything pre-drilled, pre-punched, and pre-painted, so all you have to do is bolt the components together.

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Work smarter, not harder…

It is important for any DIY’er to know that you should always try to consolidate your work!  Work smarter, not harder as my grandfather always said.

In this article at Easy Garage Storage Solutions | The Family Handyman you can read about some really nice garage storage solutions. They give 4 simple ways to help reduce clutter in your garage and get organized and we agree that these steps would help get the job accomplished.

 

The article suggests that you install a suspended bike lift and hang suspended shelving from your ceiling joists. Tapping into your ceiling joists in the garage can be a major issue as it can sometimes void warrantees and it is not exactly a safe practice to engage in, especially if you have kids around the house who are often in and out of your garage. 

The article also suggests “out of the way ladder storage” and a place to hang a wheelbarrow on the wall as other options to help get organized. They are not necessarily bad ideas, just poorly thought out. 

There are better ways to clean and organize your garage with a garage shelving kit from DIYGarageShelf.com you can certainly knock out all four steps in the referenced article in one fatal swoop. Garage shelving kits from DIYGarageShelf.com are affordable and very effective at tackling garage storage issues.

 

Instead of trying to install 4 different things in your garage, why not just install a DIYGarageShelf.com wall supported shelving kit that can do all 4 simultaneously? These shelving kits offer a ton of room for storage both above and below the shelving. The room underneath shelving can be used to store everything from a ladder and wheelbarrow to bicycles and fishing rods.

 

So why install a bunch of storage mechanisms in your garage when you can install just one product and achieve the same results. Come check out DIYGarageShelf.com and see how affordable it can truly be to get your garage organized and in order!

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Guest Blog: Tips for Saving Water

Guest Blog Contributed to us by Nicolas Delville

Tips for Saving Water


Hot summers and dry winters mean that we have to pay more attention to water use. If you’re handy around the home, there are plenty of quick and simple ways that you can reduce your water usage.

In the bathroom: Check your shower flow rate: if your shower fills a one-gallon bucket in less than 20 seconds, change the showerhead for a water efficient model. Aerating shower heads and ones with smaller holes give a tingling shower with far less water. Check your toilet for leaks: one easy way is to put food coloring in the water tank. Check back half an hour later and see if the water in the pan has changed color. If it has, you have a leak. Fixing worn or damaged parts can save you over 200 gallons a month!

If you’re due to replace your toilet, switch to a dual-flush model that allows you to use an efficient, low-volume flush where possible. This can save you up to five gallons a flush, depending on the age of your existing toilet! If you’re not planning to replace your toilet any time soon, consider placing an empty plastic bottle, with an inch or two of sand in the base to weigh it down, in the tank. Ensure the tank still has space for 3 gallons of water though, or your toilet won’t flush properly. In the kitchen and utility room Fit aerating heads on faucets to save water and time while rinsing, and don’t rinse dishes before putting them in the dishwasher. Switch to more efficient dishwashers and clothes washers when you replace your current model. Modern machines can cut their water usage by up to a quarter. Insulate hot water pipes so you don’t need to wait as long for water to run hot: especially if your taps and appliances are far away from your water heater.

Compost fruit and vegetable scraps, rather than using the waste disposal unit. Not only will you save water but your garden will thank you! In the garden, remember the soil surface doesn’t need to be wet: check the “root zone” before watering by using a trowel to check the condition of the soil, two to three inches below the surface. If it’s moist, you don’t need to water.

Another way to save water outside your house is to water your property (or apartment balcony or terrace plants) in the late evenings or early mornings, and consider switching to a sprinkler head that produces large drops rather than a fine mist, to minimize loss from evaporation. Don’t cut your lawn too short. Going one blade setting higher will leave the roots of your grass in more shade and will cut down on drying. A few simple changes around your home can save you gallons of water a day!

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Guest Blog: Adding value to your home — Selecting garage doors

Guest blog brought to us by Dan

Adding Value Using The Correct Garage Doors
For homeowners looking to add value to their property then one idea worth considering is installing new garage doors. Modern garage doors have come a long way in the last 15 years and are now available with a whole host of benefits to the homeowner that simply weren’t available at the time the original garage door was installed.
For example, insulated garage doors are now increasingly installed into homes that features an attached garage as a large amount of heat can be lost through the garage opening, in turn leading to higher energy bills as the homes heating system has to work for longer to replace the lost heat.
Increased Kerb Appeal
Regardless of whether the homeowner is intending selling the property or a simply looking to make home improvements, a newly installed garage door of the correct colour, design and operating type will instantly lift your property to a whole new level. Forming a major part of the homes frontage, a garage door should reflect the architecture of the home. Period properties are particularly well suited to wooden garage doors with some design detailing to the paneling or windows with decorative lead work to be in keeping with the home. Compare this to a modern contemporary home and the same door would look out of place. For this type of property style, modern smooth paneled sectional garage doors are the ideal solution as they reflect the same sharp lines incorporated into the homes design.
When selecting new garage doors, there a any number of options available to the homeowner, so there is pretty much a garage door to suit any property type.
Types of doors;

  • Sectional Garage Doors – Can be insulated or uninsulted. They are available in a wide variety of designs and colors. This type of garage door is ideal for automation and because it opens vertically, cars can be parked virtually touching the garage doors and they can still be operated easily and safely.
  • Roller Garage Doors – Similar in concept to the sectional garage doors but with the added benefit of rolling into a box that sits neatly inside the garage when the door is open. This allows more space to be used as garage storage within the ceiling. The downside to roller garage doors are that because they roll up, the insulation levels cannot be as thick as the above insulated sectional doors.
  • Side Hinged Garage Doors – For many years, side hinged garage doors were extremely popular, but the trend has declined somewhat in recent years in favour of the above 2 door types. Having said that, period properties will always suit side hinged garage doors.
  • Up & Over Garage Doors – For the homeowner looking for a cheap garage door, this is the ideal solution. Can be made in a range of designs and sizes to suit many applications.

Increase the value of your property!
Correctly chosen garage doors will undoubtedly increase the value of your property and increase the likelihood of a quick sale. Homes that are on the market that require upgrades often take far longer to sell and do not carry a premium price. The cost of replacing the garage doors will be far outweighed by the added value of the property.

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Guest Blog: Any homeowners worst nightmare… Rodents in the home

This article was submitted to us by guest blogger Emily Davies

Anyone who has ever experienced rodents in their home knows how unpleasant such an encounter can be. There are a range of different species that are commonly found in homes throughout the United States such as roof rats, Norway rats, voles, house mice and deer mice. Rodents pose a range of problems when inside your home.

They are known to cause structural damage while trying to enter your home, gnawing on wood or even wires.  Many rodents carry diseases such as salmonella, which they can spread around your house through their excrement and when they get into your food.

Unfortunately for homeowners, many rodent species are social animals, meaning they travel and live in groups.

Therefore, if you’ve spotted one, chances are there are several more around your home.  If you find yourself with a major rodent problem, you’re best option is probably to consult professional help.  However, there are several tips to help you prevent these pests from becoming a problem in your home.

  1. Eliminate opportunities: Most homeowners focus primarily on controlling mice indoors, but what most people don’t realize is that often times rodents are first attracted to your home by items outside.
  • Avoid leaving piles of debris, boxes or firewood stacked against your house.  Rodents will use these items for shelter and from there find entry into your home.
  • Keep outdoor trashcans closed with sealed lids so rodents won’t be attracted to the food remnants in your garbage.
  • Don’t leave items such as bird seed, flower bulbs or pet food out in your garage.  These items should also be stored in some sort of sealed container to avoid luring in rodents.
  1. Seal openings: Rodents can enter your home through very small openings, as small as ¼ of an inch.  There are an endless number of places around your home where rodents might find an entryway.
  • Check all window screens to ensure they aren’t loose or broken, allowing rodents inside.
  • Thoroughly inspect all around your home, including attics and basements, for any openings.  Because rodents can chew through many materials, use stronger, less penetrable items such as steel wool or sheet metal to seal openings.
  1. Remove food sources:  Any sources of food in your house are a major attractor of rodents.  Putting away food and basic cleaning practices are clear ways to prevent these pests, but there are a few less obvious ways to eliminate their food sources.
  • Never leave pet food sitting out. Once your animals have finished eating, put away any extra food as rodents will see this as a feast.
  • Regularly vacuum under couch cushions, a place often neglected but known to collect a great deal of crumbs.
  • Rodents enjoy grain foods such as cereals and rice.  These food items usually come in boxes that don’t seal tightly.  Therefore, you should consider purchasing sealable Tupperware to securely store grain foods, keeping these pests out and your food safe.

Following these basic pest control practices will go a long way toward preventing rodents around your home.  However, even your best efforts may not eliminate these pests entirely.  If you end up with rodents in your home, there are a few steps you can take to try and control them, but don’t hesitate to contact a professional, because rat or mice infestations can quickly become a major problem.

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How to read a tape measure

One of the most basic components to any DIY or home improvement project is the reading of a tape measure.  To those who have been doing it for a while it is nothing more than an afterthought.


For those of us who are just getting our feet wet in the DIY and home improvement field, it can feel more getting in a time machine and going back to your 7th grade arithmetic class with that one beady eyed old teacher you just couldn’t stand!


The ability to read a tape measure is more important than any tool you may have in your toolbox.  What good is that hammer or saw if you can’t cut something to the length that is needed or hammer that nail in right where you need it!


I am going to go over a few important tips and tricks to reading a tape measure that should enable YOU with the basic ability to complete almost any minor DIY or home improvement project there is in front of you.

    • Understand what your labeled units are.  Most tape measures that the common homeowner will use (they are usually retractable with yellow measuring tape.)
    • The tape is usually broken down into different units.  The largest being feet, with each foot broken down into 12 inches.
    • Each inch is broken down into 1/16’s.  So that means that there are 16 tiny little tick marks between each inch.  
    • If you look at the picture above you will notice the 16 tick marks between the 3 inch and 4 inch lines on the tape measure.
    • The 1/16 is the smallest fraction on most tape measures.  The next being ⅛ and on down the line to ¼, ½, and the last being a “whole” inch.
    • This may seem daunting but just realize that two 1/16’s=one ⅛.  So that would mean that two ⅛’s=one 1/4.  So that would mean that 4 1/16’s=one ¼.
    • Reading a tape measure is just reading simple fractions.  Go to this math blog if you need to brush up on your use of math with fractions (and don’t feel ashamed!  A lot of us are still not good with fractions!  You are not alone!)

 

So hopefully this small blog entry will help you out next time you are put on the spot and asked to read a measuring tape.  You have to look at it from the point of view that it isn’t the tape you really have to study, but math and fractions that you need to get a grasp of.  With just a little bit of time and practice you will be on your way to reading a tape measure in no time!

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Welcome our first guest blogger! Julie French: 5 Steps to Taking Care of a Hardwood Floor

It is very important for you to take care of your wood floor if you want it to last for a long time. If you have hardwood flooring in your home it is even more important to take care of that old and worn down wood as the condition of the interior of your home can add quite a bit of value to the market price in case the time to sale your humble abode ever arises.

Taking care of your wooden floor can be quite straight forward. You just need to follow the right steps and develop the right habits. These tips for maintaining the quality of your hardwood floors can come in handy for any homeowner who finds themselves constantly worried about keeping their floors in a high quality condition. Please feel free to leave any tips or tricks for dealing with hardwoods in the comment section and help enlighten us in case we missed anything!

#1 – Always wipe off water and liquids.
If you spill  liquids on your wood floors you should immediately wipe them off. They can damage your wood floor if you don’t do anything quickly.

#2 – Fill the gaps
Wood floors can easily be scratched by heavy furniture when dragging them. If you spot any deep scratches in your hardwood floor you fill them by using some wood fillers. Wood fillers are usually made out of wood which will make it look natural. Apply some wood filler in the gap. Let it dry and sand it in order to have something smooth and flat

#3 – Hardwax and oil
Applying some hardwax and oil on your hardwood floor will make it look nice and will make it more resistant. It will be a protective layer on your wood and nourish the wood.

#4 – Sanding your hardwood floor
If you think your hardwood has to many scratches and needs a fresh look you can use a sanding machine to remove all visible damages.

#5 – Pads and mats
If you want to avoid any damage on your wood floor be sure to use furniture pads which avoid the scratches. You can also use mats in doors way to prevent any dirt and small stones to be dragged inside your house

 

These tips should help you keep those hardwood floors in tip top shape.  Of course you always want to keep your floors in good shape for aesthetic reasons but you also must keep in mind that you never know when you might have to move or sell your house, and these tips will help save you big time money in the long run!  Feel free to email us any questions or feel free to leave them in the comment box and maybe we can help you!

 

Thanks!

 

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Julie also recommends visiting these sites for all of your wood flooring needs!  So be sure to check them out for her!

Buy all your wood floors needs such as floor sanding machines and engineered wood flooring on woodfloors-online.co.uk

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How to pour concrete

In this blog post I will focus on giving step by step directions to pouring concrete.  We often run across a do-at-home project that requires us to pour a concrete slab for some reason or another.
Pouring concrete is a fairly easy process once you get over the fact that it requires a little bit of “sweat equity.”  Growing up I have been stuck helping my father or a neighbor mix concrete in the hot and humid summer sun.  This can be a rather forgettable experience!  Mixing concrete itself can make your arms as limp as spaghetti noodles!Knowing how to pour concrete on your own can help save you money down the road on small home projects around the house.  Pouring concrete requires little more than some muscle and and a few key ingredients that are available at your local home improvement store.

Steps:

  1. Before mixing the concrete it is important to go ahead and prepare the mold and have it ready to go.
  2. When the wooden frame is in place make a bed of small stone and wire mesh to pour the concrete over.  This will help reinforce the concrete and give it the strength needed to prevent cracking.
  3. Now you are ready to mix the concrete.  You can get yourself one of the round concrete mixers or you can go the old school route and just use a wheelbarrow and a shovel.  Either way will work just fine for a small home project.  When making the mix use as little water as possible.  The less water you use the more crack resistant the mixture will be when it dries.
  4. Once you have figured out the appropriate ratio of concrete to water, mix the two together until it is uniform.
  5. Now you are ready to pour the concrete mixture into the mold. Be sure to spread it into the corners and pack the surface down to ensure a solid slab.
  6. After some of the water on the surface has dried you are ready to smooth the surface over with a float and trowel.  Don’t wait too long or the concrete will already be set up and dried.
  7. Line up a plank of wood periodically to make control joints in the concrete.  These will keep the concrete from cracking due to changes in temperature.
  8. Some people like to create traction/designs in the concrete during the last step.  This will help to make the concrete less slippery when wet.  It will also help keep standing water from pooling up on the concrete. This step is totally up to the homeowner.

 

That pretty much covers the basics of pouring concrete.  When just doing small jobs this is something that pretty much any homeowner can do.  If doing a very large job I would recommend using a professional but for something fairly small you should be able to finish the project with limited help.

Hope this helps!

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Getting Prepared for Mowing Grass in the Spring

With grass growing season coming up I thought that I would write a blog entry dealing with getting prepared for the “lawn mowing season.”It may seem a little early to prepare for such things but with the abnormally warm winter that we have been having the time to start mowing lawns is right around the corner.  By following some of my tips you should be well prepared for the coming warmer weather and you can hopefully avoid any trips to a small engine repair mechanic, which can be costly to say the least.

  1. It is always a good idea to have some kind of fuel stabilizer in all of your “gas using” machines such as weedeaters and lawnmowers.
  2. It is important that you keep an eye on things such as your gas filter and spark plugs in your gas using machines.  This can help keep your engine running smoothly and help you to avoid a trip to a small engine repairman.
  3. Make sure that you are maintaining proper tire pressure in your lawnmower before taking it out for us this coming year.
  4. Sharpening your blades on your lawnmower is something that is often overlooked when getting ready for the upcoming grass growing season.  By doing this you keep from putting undue strain on your drive system and belts in your lawnmower.  You must remember that failure to properly maintain things such as this can wreak havoc on a perfectly good lawnmower over time.
  5. Go ahead and getting your weedeater ready to cut grass.  Go ahead and get your twine in place so you don’t have to worry about it on the years first day of yard work.
  6. Go ahead and crank up your gas using machines in advance so that they have not been sitting for 5 months prior to your next use.
  7. Also go ahead and organize all of your yard tools (rakes, hoes, shovels, etc) so that you know where they all are when it comes time to use them.  Nothing can make you madder than having to hunt down tools when you are ready to go ahead and get to work on a Saturday afternoon this spring.

 

 

I think some of these tips will help you be prepared for the upcoming season which is coming up on us fast.  You may be thinking that it is still winter but spring is right around the corner and the warm weather isn’t going to wait for you to get ready!



With a little luck your yard can look like this!

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How to Stain a Hardwood Floor

       Staining a floor is not as complicated as it looks, so don’t let the process scare you.  Staining a floor can provide it with a really nice looking finish but most importantly provides it with protection that can last for years.  So whether you are refinishing your floors or just putting down that initial coat you can follow these instructions and it should help you get the job done.  Above all, it will make your floor look great aesthetically and add years to its life!

  1. The initial phase will be sanding the floor.
  2. Once your floor is sanded you will be ready to vacuum off a the excess dust, grit and grime. When you do this wipe the floor down with a tack cloth which well help get up any dust that was left behind.
  3. Personally I recommend “water popping” the wood at this point.  Something as simple as a swiffer can be used.  Just wet the something slightly and run it over the entire floor, not missing a single spot. Then you just give it a little time to dry out.  What this will do is raise the grain of the wood.  It will also help with the problem of “blotching.”
  4. Now you are ready to apply the stain.  Take some stain and pour it in something so you can get your rag nice and coated.  I like to work from the outside-in when applying the stain.
  5. Be sure when applying stain to leave yourself a path to work and get out of the room you are working in!  If you have to walk back over the freshly laid stain then you will leave footprints if it isn’t dry!
  6. Try and coat the floor with stain as easily as possible.  Also it is important to always go WITH the grain of the wood when applying.  You shouldn’t apply the stain too liberally either.  Any excess should be ran over with the rag so that its not laid to heavily in any one area.
  7. After it is dry you can now apply a coat of polyurethane.  You want to make sure that you also apply this going with the grain of the wood as well.  After application you should wait about 6-8 hours for it to dry.  *Polyurethane is very durable and provides the floor with a glass like finish*
  8. Now it is time for you to sand lightly with something like 220 grit sandpaper.  You basically want to rough up the first coat of polyurethane so the second coat will really stick well when you go to apply it.
  9. Run over the freshly sanded floor with a vacuum and a tack cloth again to remove all excess dust.
  10. Now you can apply your second coat of polyurethane.  Make sure to apply it evenly and over all parts of the room(s).
  11. Just let the second coat dry overnight and you are finished!

 

 

      Remember it is always wise to test a small area out first before applying stain. Often times the color of the stain and the color of the wood may be factors in how the final product will look.  So make sure you have a good idea of what you are getting yourself into before you start out working on an entire room. It is also a good idea to make sure you start at the far end of your room and work yourself towards the exit to the room when applying stain.  This is just a brief overview of how to apply stain, there are many more much detail guides out there. So if this post doesn’t answer your questions just do a little digging through google and you should be able to find even more detailed descriptions of how to do it!

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