Common Signs of Home Foundation Problems

There are several types of expensive home repairs you may face. For most, issues with their home’s foundation are near the top. The average cost of home foundation repairs can range between $5,000 to $7,000 and go even higher if the damage has affected other parts of your home. Knowing the signs of a foundation issue is the best way to ensure the problems don’t become too severe.

Issues with the Doors and Windows

Sometimes, if your window won’t open, a little WD40 is needed. However, if there are several doors or windows in your home that is getting harder to open and close, you may be dealing with foundation issues. As unstable foundations shift, it can distort the shape of your home’s frame, making it challenging to open and close the windows and doors smoothly.

Sagging Ceilings and Floors

Warped ceilings and floors are also indications of foundation problems. As your home’s foundation moves, it will pull apart or compact the support beams and walls. This can shift the weight of your home, causing it to sit unevenly in some areas, which causes sagging ceilings and floors. Sometimes, house piers Tulsa OK can be used to fix these issues; however, usually, this is only effective if the problem is caught early.

Musty Odors in the Basement

Musty odors in the basement or crawlspace can mean issues for your foundation. The odor may be because of leaking basement walls, or the problem could be related to the plumbing system. However, the issue may be because of moisture seeing in through cracks in your foundation.

With your home’s foundation, there are a lot of factors to consider. If you notice any of the problems here, seek a professional consultation right away. This will help ensure the necessary repairs are made before the problem gets worse.

3 Great Backyard Upgrades That Will Get Your Kids Active

Looking to get your kids off the couch and out in the yard? Maybe your kids need a little extra push to head to the backyard to burn off some energy. Here are three exciting features that you should add to your backyard to encourage active play among your kids.

1. Install a Swimming Pool

When it comes to entertaining the entire family, there’s nothing quite like having an in-ground swimming pool. To foster activity, incorporate elements like a diving board, waterslide and a pool basketball hoop into the overall design. You’ll also need to install an attractive pool deck to complete the project. A professional deck contractor Pikesville MD will install a quality wood pool deck that will stand up to the elements and lend a natural look to your pool area.

2. Add a Play Area

A play area can take many forms depending upon the age and activity level of your children. Younger children will love a customized playground. Include all the classic features like a swing set and a slide, as well as new favorites like a mini rock-climbing wall. For older kids, create a backyard obstacle course. Put safety first by spreading a layer of rubber tire pieces around the area to cushion falls.

3. Improve the Lawn

It may sound obvious, but improving the lawn in your backyard will give your kids that lush, green carpet that’s perfect for plenty of outdoor activities. You’ll need to sow seeds in patchy areas, water correctly and perform aeration at least once every year. If all else fails, replace the natural turf with artificial grass. This will give you a low-maintenance surface that will last for years to come.

No kid should spend life staring at a screen. By following these tips and adding these great features to your backyard, you’ll inspire your kids to head outdoors and enjoy some sun, fun and movement.

5 Things Made of Cedar You Should Own

If you’ve ever used cedar closet deodorizers or shavings for a pet cage, you’re already familiar with its fresh and lovely scent. On a larger scale, cedar is used to make some beautiful items that smell even more delicious. If you’re intrigued on how to get more of that lovely aroma into your life, here are five things made of cedar you should definitely own.

Storage Chest

Many people have had a cedar chest in the family for decades. These chests are exquisitely crafted and retain their fragrance for years. They’re great for storing blankets, or any items you want to keep safe. The oil in cedar naturally repels pests, so you don’t have to worry about moths or anything else getting inside.

Screen Door

Nothing brings back great summertime memories quite like the sound of a screen door slam. When looking for the right door for your home, a cedar screen door not only adds nostalgia, but good looks, too. Your screen door will keep your home ventilated and secure. Plus, it’s immensely convenient to get in and out of your yard in a hurry.

Garden Planters

Cedar is extremely beneficial in garden areas due to its scent and pest-repelling qualities. It’s often ground up as mulch for this very reason, but a more attractive use would be a cedar planter. You can use it for flowers, vegetable plants or herbs and you’ll get that wonderful cedar smell every time you pass by.

Porch Furniture

Although cedar smells heavenly to humans, it isn’t appetizing to pests and that’s why it’s such a great choice for porch or deck furniture. Its pink color gives it a one-of-a-kind look and complements any decor. Best of all, your neighbors will be insanely jealous of your new furniture set!

Unique Fencing

Although less common than other types of fencing, cedar makes for a unique and attractive border for your yard. Since cedar lasts longer than many other types of wood, you won’t have to worry about replacing it like other materials. Cedar fences also resist insects, in particular termites, so your fence will be with you for many years.

Cedar Throughout the House

Cedar is one of the prettiest woods you can buy and its aroma makes it even more appealing. Utilize cedar inside and outside your home for furniture, fencing, screen doors and in the garden. Your property will smell great and will be naturally pest-free!

3 Septic Maintenance Tips

Regularly maintaining your septic system can save you money, protect the value of your home and avoid potential safety issues. These three septic maintenance tips can help keep your septic system in good condition.

1. Inspect and Pump

It is recommended that you contact septic service Orlando for an inspection at least once every three years. Most tanks should be pumped once every three to five years. Systems that utilize electrical float switches, mechanical components or pumps may need an inspection every year. How often you should have your system inspected and pumped will vary depending upon your household size, the volume of solids in wastewater, septic tank size and the amount of wastewater generated.

2. Dispose of Waste Properly

Your septic tank will function better if you do not dispose of anything in your garbage disposal, sink, bath or toilet that should not go in the septic tank. Avoid flushing cooking grease, baby wipes, feminine hygiene products, kitty litter and other items that are not toilet paper or human waste down your toilet. Do not use chemicals that may kill the bacteria that break down waste in your septic, such as drain openers. Limit your use of the garbage disposal to avoid an excess buildup of fats, grease and solids that can clog your tank.

3. Avoid Damaging Your Drainfield

The drainfield is the part of your septic system that decontaminates the liquid that comes out of your septic system. You should be careful not to park your car or drive over your drainfield. Avoid planting trees too close to the drainfield, because the roots can damage the septic system. Make sure your roof drains do not drain into your drainfield area because the water from your drains can interfere with the wastewater treatment process. 

Your septic system is an important component of your home. Including these three tips in your septic maintenance plan can help you avoid costly septic system repairs. 

Tips for Getting a Great Apartment

The housing market isn’t getting any easier for renters to navigate, and people sometimes have to sacrifice their most important criteria to accommodate budgetary or time constraints. If you need to rent a new apartment, some strategic initiative can help you find a rental that you’ll be happy with. Here are some important things that apartment seekers should do to give themselves the best possible chance of landing a great apartment.

Study Your Local Housing Market

Getting a good look at the lay of the land in your area can help you form realistic expectations about rents, space, and amenities. Do some due diligence about the range of rents in your area to get a sense about what type of unit you can reasonably afford.

Identify Your Biggest Priorities

While you may not be able to get everything on you’d like, you know that there are some features that you absolutely must have in order to be satisfied with a rental. Make a list of the amenities that you value most, and don’t be quick to compromise.

Look at Units That Are Well-Managed

When you look at a unit, you should give careful consideration to its appearance and the local reputation of the company that manages it. Do a little research to find out about what you’re getting into. If you’re looking for an apartment Lakeside Oakland CA, try to find a professionally managed building with a track record of creating positive tenant experiences.

Start Looking Early

As soon as you know that you have to move, you should start looking for a new unit. Don’t delay your search until your deadline is right around the corner. Many landlords and management companies advertise their units that have lease terms ending months before they will become available, and some of the most sought-after buildings have waiting lists.

3 Helpful Tips for Creating Your Half Bathroom From Scratch

Wondering how you can add a functional half bathroom to your home? It’s actually easier than you may think. Here are three great tips that will help you squeeze a half-bathroom into even the tightest spaces.

1. Find an Ideal Location

There are plenty of good spots to add a useful new half bathroom to your home. Underused closets or pantries are perfect candidates for half bathroom remodels since the basic structure, including walls and doors, are already in place. You should consider the location of existing plumbing lines whenever possible. Professional plumbing services Denver CO will help you divert plumbing lines if necessary.

2. Develop a Layout

Since you’re working with a tight space to create your half bathroom, it’s important to carefully design the layout with practicality in mind. Luckily, there are space-saving toilet and sink options that can make the room more open than standard fixtures. Choose a corner toilet and a corner sink. Mount the sink directly to the wall for maximum effect. Pair these features with a pocket door for a smart solution for even the smallest spaces. These corner fixtures also provide extra clearance if you want a door that swings inward.

3. Add Finishing Touches

As with any remodeling project, it’s really the finishing details that bring the room together. Install custom tile to put your own personal touch on the room. Another way to make the space unique is with custom lighting. In small spaces, a flush mounted ceiling is a non-intrusive and attractive way to ensure that the room is well-lit. You should also incorporate some mirrors into the design, which can make smaller rooms seem much bigger.

An extra half bathroom will instantly make your home more functional. By following these tips, you’ll create a practical half bathroom that will add value to your home.

4 Ways To Update Your Home

Whether you’re looking to sell or update your home, it may seem like experts recommend extensive projects. Fortunately, there are ways to freshen up your home without spending a ton of money. Here are four things you can do to breathe new life into your home.

1. Add Window Coverings

Windows don’t feel complete without some type of covering. Even if you would love to keep your windows bare to let natural sunlight in, there are times when privacy is required. There are a variety of window coverings available:

  • Blinds
  • Drapes
  • Shades
  • Verticals
  • Minis
  • Faux wood
  • Cornices
  • Shutters

Selecting the right window coverings can make a huge difference in a room. There are benefits to each type of window covering. For example, cellular shades Boston are great for reducing energy costs and controlling the amount of light that comes into the room.

2. Paint the Front Door

They say first impressions are everything, so why not make a great first impression with a colored front door. In art and in many cultures, colors have special meaning. Orange and yellow typically radiate warmth and joy, whereas blue and green generally represent serenity and healing. If you don’t want to paint your front door a different color, consider adding a wreath. Wreaths are available in various sizes and designs to match your unique home style.

3. Use Mirrors in Every Room

Mirrors are a great way to brighten up any room. Many people mistakenly think that the correct placement of mirrors is directly across from a window. However, if you want to get more light bouncing around a room, place a mirror perpendicular to a window.

4. Position Rugs Under Furniture

Rugs are an ideal accessory in any room because they help define an area. In a living room, be sure to place at least the front legs of all furniture on the rug. The rug designates the seating area in the room and makes the furniture look properly scaled.

Freshening up your home doesn’t require major renovations. These simple tips will help create a beautiful space that you can enjoy immediately.

How to Use Your Iron at Home

Here are thе 7 most unіԛuе uѕеѕ of аn іrоn thаt уоu’vе nеvеr thоught of.

1. An Alternative Grіll

Bаrbесuеѕ need time tо gеt heated uр and rеаdу fоr grіllіng. An іrоn саn асt as аn еmеrgеnсу grіll while you’re сrаvіng a dеlіghtful grilled sandwich. It’ѕ DIY аnd tоо еаѕу. Rеаdу uр your ѕаndwісh аnd wrap it up іn square ѕhареd аlumіnum fоіl on thе tор and bоttоm. Kеер the hоt іrоn оn уоur sandwich for аbоut 10 mіnutеѕ. Thеn, flір оvеr thе ѕаndwісh and place the іrоn оn the оthеr side fоr another 10. You’ve juѕt grіllеd yourself a yummy ѕаndwісh.

2. Thе Plastic Sеаlеr

You mіght аt ѕоmе point nееd to ѕеаl polythene оr рlаѕtіс bаgѕ for vаrіоuѕ reasons. You mау want tо lаmіnаtе ѕоmе vаluаblе рареrѕ. Yоu may even nееd to расk some оf your ѕtuff іn a рlаѕtіс bаg. Whаtеvеr bе the саѕе, аn іrоn саn help. Cover the end оf plastic уоu wаnt tо seal wіth fоіl, аnd work the іrоn саrеfullу оvеr thе foil оnlу. Thе plastic mеltѕ with hеаt and bесоmеѕ sealed. Yоu саn rеmоvе thе foil аftеrwаrdѕ.

3. Wаllрареr Rеmоvеr

Wаllрареrѕ look great оn walls. Whаt about thе ѕtubbоrn ріесеѕ оf paper lеft whеn уоu rеmоvе wаllрареr? That’s too uglу. Yоur cloth iron саn help уоu get rid оf thіѕ. Let’s lеаrn how. Sеt уоur iron tо ѕtеаm mоdе аnd hеаt іt uр. Kеер thіѕ hоt іrоn at a slight dіѕtаnсе from thе wаll. Thіѕ сrеаtеѕ soggy conditions аrоund thе paper. Thе hеаt frоm the ѕtеаm loosens uр the gluе, аnd the moisture gеtѕ rid of thе ѕtubbоrnnеѕѕ оf paper.

4. Clеаnіng up a Wax Mеѕѕ

So you hаd a grеаt саndlе lit dіnnеr оr juѕt a gоrgеоuѕ candle nіght. Check уоur ѕurrоundіngѕ. Yоu might juѕt have ѕріllеd a fеw drорѕ of wax thаt refused not tо ѕtісk. Hоw tо get rid оf this wаx stain wіth уоur іrоn, once again соmіng to thе rеѕсuе. Cоvеr the ѕtаіn wіth foil and рlасе thе hеаtеd іrоn оvеr it. Wax сlеаnіng dоеѕn’t gеt easier thаn thіѕ.

5. Dent Frее Your Floors

Aftеr ѕреndіng a fоrtunе оn the mоѕt еxреnѕіvе аnd attractive wооd flооrѕ іn уоur hоuѕе, уоu dоn’t want to see dеntѕ lеft bу fооt traffic, ассіdеntѕ, оr furniture. Whаt’ѕ thе solution? Cоvеr uр the dented ѕроt wіth fоіl аnd run your iron over іt. Thе dеnt wіll dіѕарреаr, аnd уоu’rе dоnе fіxіng уоur floor.

6. Rеmоvе Wаtеr Stains on Wood

Wаtеr іѕ the enemy of wооdеn crafts. Wаtеr may ѕоmеtіmеѕ leave a very unрlеаѕаnt mаrk оn оur wooden furnіturе, flооrѕ, аnd other wооdеn stuff. Yоur сlоth iron, аgаіn, gеtѕ ѕоmе wоrk thеrе. Cоvеr uр thе wаtеr ѕtаіn оn уоur wood wіth a сlоth аnd run the іrоn over іt аt the lоwеѕt tеmреrаturе. Thе hеаt thаt the іrоn transfers tо the wооd mаkеѕ іt mоіѕturе free.

7. Preserve Flоwеrѕ

Flowers аrе gоrgеоuѕ. They can аlѕо bе a tоkеn of lоvе. So whеn you receive thаt lоvе іn the form of bоuԛuеtѕ, уоu may wаnt to preserve nоt juѕt thе fееlіng оf аffесtіоn but thе physical token you’ve been gіvеn. Would уоu believe mе іf I said аn іrоn соuld dо thаt too? Keep уоur flоwеrѕ between a соuрlе оf ріесеѕ оf wаx рареr and рlасе some weight оn іt. Aftеr some tіmе, рut a рареr towel оvеr іt аnd run the drу iron over іt. The flоwеrѕ аrе ѕаfе for a lоng tіmе now.

Dial Before You Dig Referral Service

Take a moment to consider the services that feed your household. The water supply, electricity, gas supply, phonelines and waste services are just a small section of the underground networks that serve Australian households, business, transport networks, communication networks and other large-scale infrastructures.

Often these services are situated just below the ground on which we walk, drive and play. They span along most paths, roads, highways and motorways, no matter where you are in the world. Should they become damaged, the there is the potential to stop that network from supplying whatever it is delivering, and in doing so potentially cause widespread disruption.

In recent years there have been a few high-profile incidents where contractors working on motorway projects have accidentally severed the trunk cables of Australia-wide mobile phone network providers. In each case those incidents caused entire network regions to be unavailable, which whilst it may be just and inconvenience for some, it could be hugely problematic for others. You only need to consider the reliance that emergency services place on phone contact for live reporting on a situation to realise the potential consequences.

Additionally, as a contractor, the last thing you want to be responsible for is the disruption to a major network because of a lack of planning or research. Worse still, you really do not want to be responsible for the injury to or death of an employee who accidentally severed an electricity line with some excavation machinery.

Dial Before You Dig Australia is a referral service provided by the Australian Government. This free information service has dual purpose; as well as safeguarding the massive countrywide network infrastructures, it also provides safety and reassurance for anyone looking to excavate earth for a specific project.

Dial Before You Dig, or DBYD Australia as it’s more colloquially known, a single point of contact between excavation companies and infrastructure owners, the program is simply a means of informing those who require it, where the underground infrastructure is located in relation to a project, both to safeguard the infrastructure and to help keep anyone who is involved with the project safe from harm. This could for example be a commercial developer with large scale construction plans, the owner of a farm holding small developer looking to subdivide their land, or even a plumbing company installing a drainage pipe to the kerbside.

If you don’t know what’s beneath your feet and you need to know, contacting the Dial Before you Dig service is free. A simple enquiry essentially puts you in touch with the owners of any infrastructure in the locality, and they will respond with plans and information about what is there.

There is of course reassurance to using the service, and being free, it is wise to do so. Businesses and individuals who inadvertently damage underground assets are often liable for their repair, which can become hugely expensive. Therefore, a quick enquiry to Dial Before You Dig can help avoid making a costly and potentially dangerous error of judgement.