Category Archives: Home Renovations

Home Leaks

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Leaks can happen anywhere in a home and they can be quite bothersome. Detecting where a leak is coming from can be difficult, but there are always clues that can lead you to the culprit. There are some steps to follow before trying to just repair the leak all on your own. First, you need to detect where the leak in coming from and then you can go on the leaky adventure.

Locate the Source

First, you will need to detect where exactly the leaking in coming from. Turn off all the water in your home. Next, go and check the water meter and see if the leak indicator is moving. If there is a leak, then it should be moving. Then, you have to determine where exactly the leak is located. The leak indicator will help you know where the leak is coming from inside or outside the home.

Common Leaks

Usually leaks come from faucets, toilets or water valves. These should be the first things you go ahead and check for leaks. A leaky faucet usually means that the washer is worn out. The washer in located under the sink and you might need a handy man to come in and check out the problem. Toilets usually need a simple flapper replacement in the tank. Water valves can be leaking from a toilet or another water source inside the home.

Outside Leaks

Sometimes leaks can come from outside the home. A common way to tell if you have an outdoors leak is to check your yard. If it is wet on a non-rainy day then you may have a problem. It might have something to do with the irrigation system. Turn the irrigation off and see if the leak meter is moving or not. If it is moving, then call a plumber.

 

Leaks can be a hassle, but here is an easy way to repair some common home leaks on your own.

Interior Decorating Tips

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Decorating the interior of any home can become a new hobby for someone. Interior decorating can also become expensive and take up a whole lot of someone’s time. These decorating tips are here to help anyone who has caught the interior decorating bug. All of your friends will become jealous of your home and you will become one of those people who just has a natural talent for design.

Color Palette

Start with what color or mood you are going for, for any particular room. Color is the first thing that people see when they walk into the room. It also sets the mood for any room. A splash of color is a good way to bring a room back to life. Try using color tiles, painting the walls or using some colored décor to brighten up the place.

Statement Pieces

Ladies, you have all heard of those statement necklaces, which is a necklace that is here and proud to make a statement. Well, if you have furniture or décor that makes a statement the second you look at it then make it the highlight piece in the room. Bring that statement piece front and center.

Textures

Textures are becoming a huge hit in the designing world. A room that is full of neutral colors or a cool feeling could use a helping hand from the use of textures. You can use fabrics that are sheer, shiny or matte. Decor that has textures in them like weaved bowls can add a nice touch to any room.

Look Up

The ceiling can be a huge component in interior decorating. Lighting can change and set the mood for any room. Light fixtures can also be a great décor option for a room. There are so many different shapes, sizes and colors. Depending on what mood you want for the room, your lighting can be somber or shinning bright.

New Year, New Renovations

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This new year may be giving people the renovation bug. There will be a bunch of sites bombarding you with the “great new trend of the year,” but put on the brakes for a minute. Take time to process an idea for any renovations and let it sink in. Before you start ripping your place apart, here are some tips for those new renovation ideas.

You Get What You Pay For

You get what you pay for is an extremely true saying when dealing with home renovations. Looking for the long term renovation to hold and last then you will want to spend the few extra bucks for the better quality. Paying on the cheaper side will save you some bucks, but it may not have the best result in the long run.

Prep Work Required

Do not think you are better than prep work. Prep work will be extremely helpful with the construction of renovation and make your life so much easier. Also, take your time. This is not a race and getting the correct prep down will be beneficial.

Lighting is Key

If you are looking for a nice way to bring a room to life or add some better ambiance then you should look at your lighting. Lighting is a main key to any room and what type of lighting a room has can set the mood. Light fixtures are a cool and creative way to bring character into a room and can shine in a room.

Safety First

Safety should be anyone’s main priority when it comes to any type of renovation. Goggles and gloves are a must when it comes to renovations. Nothing can put more of a damper on a renovation than getting some type of injury and then having to put the whole renovation on hold. Safety is one of the easiest things anyone can cover.

Furniture Removal Costs

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Furniture Removal Costs

If you’re ready to rid yourself of your old furniture, you could hire a junk removal company. If you’ve got one to three smaller pieces of furniture, you could pay from $50-$125. Bigger jobs, however will cost closer to $150 or $175. These prices are generally all-inclusive, so the pick-up, disposal, labor, fuel cost and taxes are all included in the quoted cost. Make sure you ask if there are any other charges before you agree to pay the company, though, to avoid any hidden fees.

If you’re not completely sold on this method of furniture removal, then there are some alternatives to consider as well.

Rent a Dumpster

When there is more than just a few pieces of furniture to get rid of, you could consider renting a 10 or 20 yard dumpster. You can expect to pay around $200 or $350 for a dumpster. The cost may be higher or lower depending on where you are located. If you’re cleaning out your whole home, for example, then a dumpster can be a cost-effective option and you can complete the removal at your own pace.

Take it Yourself

You could always haul the furniture to the landfill yourself if you have a trailer or truck that can fit the furniture. This could seem like the cheapest option, but be sure to consider a few factors before deciding to load up your stuff just yet:

  • If the nearest landfill isn’t very close, then fuel costs can add up quickly.
  • Do you have a lot of furniture to get rid of? You may have to make multiple trips to the dump to complete the job and could be charged multiple dump fees at the landfill.
  • This method is the most time-consuming. You will have to do all of the removal, loading, hauling and unloading yourself.

Sell, Donate or Give Away

If your furniture is still in usable condition, then consider selling it or giving it away online. A popular site for these sorts of deals is Craigslist. If you live in a well-populated area, then your furniture should go quickly. You could also reach out to a local organization to donate the furniture. This way, you are helping your community and can write the donation off on your taxes. Some organizations may have furniture pick up services that you could take advantage of as well. Keep in mind though that these pieces need to be in good condition. If there are excessive rips, stains or sags then you should probably just throw the furniture away.

What Factors Affect Cost

Location:

  • Where you live will influence the cost of your furniture removal. Some geographic areas just generally charge more for a furniture removal compared to others.
  • The distance between your house and the junk hauling company could potentially increase the price to cover extra fuel costs and time.

Volume of Furniture:

  • Many junk removal companies base their fees on how much space your furniture takes up in the trucks. So a couple of dining room chairs will cost less than a large sofa because the chairs are taking up less volume.

Ease of Access:

  • If your furniture is up five flights of stairs instead of by the curb already, then the junk removal company could potentially charge you more for the complexity of the job.

If you can improve any of these factors to lessen your cost, you should do so before contacting the junk removal company.

Should I Tip?

If the company did a good job, then typical tipping amounts are usually around 5-10% of the cost of the job. If it’s a longer job, then you could even offer the workers drinks or snacks.

What about Discounts?

You won’t know if you don’t ask—there could be a military or senior discount. Additionally, there could be discounts related to the size of the job or if you’re a first time customer. There could be a promotion running on the company’s website or social media page. Check online before calling the company.

Now What?

Now that you know some of the facts about furniture removal, it’s time to decide. Whether you choose a junk removal company, a dumpster rental, to do it yourself or to donate, make sure you weigh all of your options first. If you find out that your decision wasn’t the most cost-effective, then there’s always next time!  Call us today we are always here to help! (803) 573-0003

Let’s Get Creative: Furniture Upcycling

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Let’s Get Creative: Furniture Upcycling

No, that isn’t a typo. Upcycling – reusing objects that would otherwise be discarded and creating something new. If you feel like your furniture is outdated, consider repurposing it to achieve the new look you’ve been eyeing in the furniture stores or online.

Dresser Drawers to Shelves

If your dresser has seen better days, put a new coat of paint on it and create some bathroom storage for decoration or practical toiletries. You could take some scrap wood to build new dividers if you need the extra storage space as well.

Drawers to a Garden

Take a few drawers, drill some drainage holes and screw them together to create a vertical garden. Add some flavor to your project by mixing drawer styles and colors to create a super-personalized planter. Be sure to paint your drawers with paint that lasts if you’re planning on             keeping this project on your porch or balcony for the neighbors to see.

Headboards to Benches

If you can’t find a use for your headboard in the bedroom any more, repaint it and build a bench for another area of your house.

Dresser to a Outdoor Bar

Pull out the shelves from an old dresser and repaint it for a fresh look. Add a few pieces of wood to hang glasses if you’re feeling extra adventurous. 

Ladder to Shelves

Stand the ladder up to hold books and accessories or mount it horizontally on the wall for a more rustic-looking bookshelf.

Mirror to a Serving Tray

The reflective surface is perfect for a cocktail party tray. Paint the border a new color and screw on some cabinet handles for a creative serving tray. If you’re not entertaining every day, then use it to hold a candle or two on your coffee table for a new statement piece in your sunroom.

Grand Piano to a Bookcase

If you’re looking for a more adventurous project, consider taking apart your aging piano and creating a hanging bookshelf.

Set aside a weekend to try out an upcycling project, and before you know it your house will look totally different at little or no cost to you…or to the environment!

Leftover paint projects

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Leftover paint can be used in many other projects. Don’t just push it aside, because these DIY projects are going to get your creative juices flowing. One can of paint can go a long way when it comes to other projects. Here are the top five DIY projects you can do with leftover paint.

Staircase

Leftover paint can go a long way with staircases. You can create strips or intricate designs to show off your staircase. Painting words down the steps is a new design to show off you creative side.

Patterns

Bring a wall or old piece of furniture back to life with patterns. Do a freehand pattern and see where the design goes. If you want something more structured, then you can use stencils to help create a pretty pattern.

Details

Painting details can really spice things up with dull furniture. Adding detail to an old door can make it stand out. Using an accent color can really pop and make you notice the door.

Modernize

Use a sleek and modern style to spruce up some out dated picture frames or a couple of plain cups. Embellish a few lamps by using splatter paint or free hand design. Modernizing some items with leftover paint can liven up a room.

Organize

Leftover paint can be a great way to help organize your things. If your desk if overflowing with supplies, color coat jars so everything has their own little, colorful home. Color coating things will help organize any mess and make it fun.

Leftover paint should not be pushed to the back corner or even thrown away. This is a great way to do some DIY projects and bring your home more to life. Painting around your home makes it your own and shows off your creative side.

Prepping for fall

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Fall is finally here and it is time to start prepping for all the things that come along with this weather. Leaves are everywhere and plants are changing colors. Get a head start on the fall chores with these tips and you can spend your time relaxing with a cup of hot chocolate. Here are a few things you can do to prep for the fall time.

Tackle those leaves

There is nothing more beautiful than watching the colors of the leaves changing on the trees; with that will come the leaves that pile up in front of your yard. Get a head start and begin raking the leaves and making piles. This will help ease your work load.

Clean Gutters

Clean out those gutters! Cleaning out clogged up gutters can save you a pretty penny down the line. Clogged gutters can cause ice damage and then your fall time will not be so nice. Doing it now before the weather starts to get cold makes it not so much of a task and more like some nice time spent outside.

Roof top problems

Get on top of those roof problems before fall makes it into a mountain of a problem. This may not be your favorite thing to do in your spare time, but getting a head start and tackling the problem will cause fewer headaches down the road.

Seal it up

Make sure that every nook and cranny is checked for cracks in your home. Check he windows, doors, everywhere! This will keep your home well insulated and it may save you a few bucks in the end.

Don’t freeze up

Areas that get frost or even snow can cause some irrigation systems to freeze up. Make sure to drain any outside faucets or irrigation, so that the water doesn’t get frozen up inside.

 

Furniture Removal Tips

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Furniture Removal Tips

When it’s time to clean out your old furniture to make room for some new pieces, you should expect to pay at least $75 to a junk removal company. Usually, a junk removal company will charge $50 – $125 to get rid of your furniture for you. If you have more than just 1-3 pieces, however, be prepared to pay more.

What am I paying for?

A junk removal company will pick up, dispose of, carry, ship and tax you all under the same dollar amount—it’s all-inclusive. If you’re getting your quote over the phone or online, make sure to ask about any additional charges the company may have. This could be any tax, fee or other surcharge not listed on the site. So if your furniture is up five flights of stairs as opposed to already set at the curbside, the company could charge you for the extra complexity of the job.

What do other people pay?

Depending on the furniture removal requested, the jobs can range from just under $100 to almost $300. Many junk removal companies will base their fees on how much space your furniture takes up in the truck. If you only have a few dining room chairs, then your price will be less than a large sofa. For example, a queen mattress and box spring could cost $110, but a dresser and TV set removal could cost you $125. Keep in mind that there may be regional cost differences as well. Three mattresses and box springs could cost $150 to remove in Texas, but less items like a sofa, bed and bed cover could cost even more in Pennsylvania. If the junk removal company has to travel farther than normal, the price could increase because of fuel costs and time. The average cost to hire a junk removal service is about $163.

Does the cost include tip?

The costs don’t cover tipping the junk removal crew, but only tip if you feel that the workers deserve it. If it’s a more complex furniture removal job, then you could consider tipping. A 5-10% tip is a good range to start at. You could also offer the crew a drink or even snacks if the job is set to last several hours.

Am I eligible for a junk removal discount?

The only way to find out is to ask! Ask your hauler if it offers discounts to military or veterans, seniors, large haul-aways, first-time customers or any other current promotion. Check the company’s website or social media to see if any offers are there, too.

What are some other options?

If the junk removal service doesn’t sound appealing to you, then there are definitely other options to consider when getting rid of your furniture.

RENT A DUMPSTER

A 10- or 20-yard dumpster could be a good alternative for furniture removal if you are hoping to get rid of a lot of items, like just before a move. Dumpster rental prices vary, but expect to pay $200 to $350 for a dumpster rental. A good fact to remember is that a standard sofa takes up at least three cubic yards of space. If the sofa is an odd shape, it could end up taking even more space. If you’re unsure that your furniture would take more than 10 yards of space, it’s a good idea to size up to the next largest dumpster to avoid any extra weight or mileage fees.

TAKE IT TO THE LANDFILL

If you own or know someone who owns a truck or a trailer that can fit the furniture, then you can elect to do a DIY furniture removal. Though the process may seem like the simplest and cheapest option, be sure to consider a few factors before making this your final choice:

  1. If you aren’t very close to a landfill, then fuel costs can add up quick due to multiple trips to and from the location.
  2. Landfills have dump fees that would have to be paid each time you made a trip to the landfill.
  3. You have to set aside a lot of time to haul your furniture to the landfill: you’re removing, loading, hauling and unloading the unnecessary furniture all by yourself.

SELL, DONATE OR GIVE AWAY

Your furniture still might be in good condition. If so, then try posting on Craigslist if you’d like to make some money for your used items. This website usually works better in an area with a lot of activity, such as a bigger city. If you would rather donate the furniture and be able to write the donation off on your taxes, then reach out to your local Goodwill or Salvation Army to see if they will take it off of your hands. Remember that your furniture must be in overall good condition or the organization may not accept it. Ask if any place you reach out to has a furniture pick up service to alleviate you having to take it anywhere.

Whether you decided to go with a removal company or want to do more of the work yourself to save a little money, hopefully this post will help you decide your plan of action during your next big furniture removal.

 

Easy ways to reduce your carbon footprint

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Everyone is going to leave behind a carbon footprint. It is impossible not to, but you can reduce how much of a footprint you leave. Reducing your carbon footprint does not even have to be difficult. There are simple and easy steps that you can take to help out our planet and keep it alive for a long, long time.  COTAP, also known as Carbon Offsets to Alleviate Poverty, has lot of good information and tips to help reduce your carbon footprint.

Driving

Driving emits a bunch of CO2. COTAP has a few tips to avoid emitting carbon any more than you have to. Alternatives to driving are walking or biking to your destination. If you can’t do that then carpooling is better than multiple cars to the same destination. Drive a low carbon vehicle that is clean electricity.

Air Travel

The less air travel the better. Air travel is possibly the worst way for you to travel. It is also a huge carbon footprint. Some alternatives to air travel are taking longer and fewer vacations. Also, take vacations that are closer and do not require so many hours of flying.  Need to fly to work? See if you can Skype into those meetings and save our planet while doing it.

Home Energy 

Insulating and getting your home sealed is a great way to reduce that carbon footprint of yours. Appliances that are labeled with Energy Star are better for the environment. If you are not using a light, then turn it off. When it comes to the thermostat do not set it way too high or too low. Simple things down around the home can have a big impact.

Food

Local food is the best food. Eating local food decreases the transportation of foods. Cutting out the beef and dairy in your diet helps you and the planet. The resources it takes to produce that steak or that late night glass of milk is actually a lot. Making some diet changes end up being the better choice in the end.

You can go look on the COTPA website and get even more information on how to cut down your carbon footprint.

DIY projects for the porch

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Porches can be a great place to let your creativity fly. This is the first thing people see when they walk up to your home. These DIY projects are a great way for your porch to come to life and feel welcoming. Let’s face it, no one really like a boring porch. We are here to help you spruce up your porch.

Chalkboard
  • Adding a fun chalkboard on the porch is a creative way to great guests. Ask Anna has the perfect DIY instructions to show you how to create this. All you need is an old window and some chalkboard spray. It is a simple process and it is a cute accent to have on your front porch.
Outdoor chandelier
  • A little extra light never hurt anyone, especially if it is cute. These outdoor chandeliers bring a rustic feel to your porch. All Things Heart and Home have a DIY tutorial that helps show how to make these perfect chandeliers. You will need some grapevine balls, Christmas lights, twine and a bird branch to hang them on. The steps are easy and can be done in one whole day.
Vertical Pallet Garden
  • If you do not have enough room on your porch for plants then you can just hang them! Jenna Burger Design is the genius behind this DIY project. This project just a little more work than the others, but it is worth the work. In six easy steps you will have you own garden hanging on a pallet.
Wooden crate coffee table
  • This cute crate table is a nice touch to any front porch. If you need to recycle crates then this is the DIY project for you. The Legal Duchess has the best tutorial for this DIY project. You are able to do this project in five easy steps. The best part is that you can stain or paint the crates any color to make them your own.
“Eat up” bar
  • The best way to create a table for a small porch is just making your railing wider. Rhyme Farm shows you how to create this genius project. It is a cute and functional project that can get the family outside and eat together. This is also a great thing to use to entertain guests for an outdoor barbecue.
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