How to Get Rid of Scratches on Hardwood Floors

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Have you ever fell in love with a house, but saw that the hardwood floors were all scratched up? Or have you ever got a pet that scratched up those beautiful floors? You may have thought that it was time to give up the hardwood flooring and get carpet, but don’t change your mind so fast. You can repair your own hardwood flooring, so you can keep the floors you love looking the way you want them. Follow these 7 steps to ensure that your hardware floors always look their best.

  • Step 1: The first step to fixing any problem is assessing the damage. Light scratches in hardwood flooring with require a different repair approach than deep scratches.
  • Step 2: If you see that you have a light scratch, gently rub fine steel wool over the scratch. Make sure to rub the steel wool along the grain of the wood or you could have more scratches to repair.
  • Step 3: For those deeper scratches, use lightweight sandpaper on the scratch. Again make sure to sand along the grain of the wood or you will end up causing more damage than good.
  • Step 4: Rub mineral spirits over the sanded area. Rubbing mineral spirits over the area will help to smooth it out and pick up the fine dust that came from the sanding.
  • Step 5: Fill the scratch with premixed wood filler. Use a plastic putty knife to fill the scratch with wood filler that matches the color of the floor. Let the filler dry thoroughly. Be sure to use a plastic putty knife for the filler so you won’t create any new scratches.
  • Step 6: Take the sandpaper to the filler and then wipe up all of the dust. Once the filler has dried, use the lightweight sandpaper (180 grit). Be sure to only sand the excess filler.
  • Step 7: Seal the sanded area. You will want to refinish the board with varnish, polyurethane, or a similar product to match the rest of your floor. Caution: Don’t use a foam roller or a brush to apply the polyurethane or you will end up with air bubbles in the finish. Instead, choose a lambswool applicator or a natural bristle brush.

 

How To Clean and Stain Your Wood Deck

cleaning wood floor

Before you start cleaning or staining your wood deck, you will want to perform a water test. A water test is the easiest way to ensure that the wood can absorb sealer or finish. Sprinkle some water on the deck and if it soaks in immediately, the deck can be sealed. If the water beads up or stands on the deck, your deck may not need sealing yet.

Cleaning

UV rays penetrate the wood, which causes graying. Deck cleaners help to remove dirt, nail stains, algae and mildew. If your deck isn’t brand-new, always use a cleaner before applying finish. Lack of preparation is the most common reason for deck stains and sealer to fail. Don’t skip out on this important step.

  • Step 1: Remove all deck furniture and other furnishings.
  • Step 2: Sand splintered areas with a pole sander with 80-grit paper. Repair or replace any damaged boards. Make sure to drive in any popped nails first- or even better, replace them with deck screws.
  • Step 3: Sweep off loose debris and clean between the cracks of the boards with a putty knife.
  • Step 4: Wet surrounding pants and shrubs. Then over them with clean plastic sheeting to prevent spotting with chemicals. Also, cover siding with plastic or paper before staining.
  • Step 5: Use a paint roller with an extension handle, a garden sprayer or a stiff-bristles push broom to apply cleaner to the entire deck. Don’t allow cleaner to puddle in any area.
  • Step 6: Keep the deck wet with cleaner. Don’t allow the cleaners to dry. Speed up the process by having one person apply the cleaner and another person back-roll the deck. Back-rolling is a process in which one person uses a roller or broom to spread any puddles.
  • Step 7: Scrub tough areas with a stiff brush or brrom. Avoid using wire brushes or brooms. The bristles can break off into the wood and cause rust spots.
  • Step 8: Allow the cleaner to soak into the wood. Soaking time is no more than 10 minutes, but always check the product instructions.
  • Step 9: Rinse the deck thoroughly with a garden hose or pressure washer.
  • Step 10: Wash equipment with soapy water. Rinse plastic sheeting with water and remove.
  • Step 11: Allow deck to dry at least two days before applying a sealer.

Applying a Stain or Sealer 

  • Step 1: Check the weather. Try to find at least two days of dry weather with temperatures between 50 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Step 2: Remove all deck furniture, plants, and furnishings.
  • Step 3: The entire deck may require sanding with a pole sander or palm sander to speed up the process. Sand in the direction of the grain. Be sure to wear a safety mask so you won’t inhale the sawdust. Drive in popped nails or replace them with deck screws. Replace any damaged boards.
  • Step 4: Sweep off loose debris and clean between the cracks. Make sure the deck is dry.
  • Step 5: Wet surrounding plants and shrubs and cover them with clear plastic sheeting to protect them. Also cover siding with plastic or paper before staining.
  • Step 6: Stir the sealer or stain thoroughly. Don’t shake sealer. Bubbles will form in the finish.
  • Step 7: Apply a thin, even coat of the sealer or stain over a two- to three-board section with a paint roller with an extension handle or sprayer. Two thin coats are better than one thick coat that doesn’t properly adhere or dry. Don’t allow the finish to puddle. To speed up the process, one person applies the stain or sealer and another person uses a roller or broom to spread puddles and to work the finish into the wood, a process known as back-rolling.
  • Step 8: Repeat the above process for the entire deck. Use a paintbrush to apply the sealer or stain in corners and other difficult areas, such as steps, railings, end grain, and cracks. A second coat is optional.
  • Step 9: Rinse the plastic covering the plants with a hose and remove it.
  • Step 10: Allow the deck to dry completely.

Give Your Exterior Some Attention

Exterior Paint

The exterior of your home is the first impression that you are portraying to the world, whether the world be prospective buyers or friends and family stopping by for a visit. Do you want that first impression to have your guests snickering at what your house looks like or would you want them to be drooling over how good your home already looks? There are a ton of exterior paint colors that people are falling in love with that may just be what you’re looking for to give your home an edge up on the curb appeal.

Black with Light Trim:

Black is definitely the new black. Believe it or not, black siding is become a huge hit as an exterior paint color. It leaves a strong statement, but the light colored trim, whether it be white, light gray, pale yellow, etc., stands out against the darkness. If you want to leave your guests drooling over your house, this is definitely an option worth considering.

All Black:

An all-black exterior can play up the structural feature of the home. It will even begin to draw attention to the architectural qualities of the home.

All White:

A completely white exterior is always a great choice. It’s traditional, classic, and it looks beautiful. There may be a little more exterior maintenance that will be needed, but it is definitely worth it.

A Contrasting Front Door:

If the exterior of a house being one single color seems to be too boring for your taste, try spicing it up by painting the door a different color. You would be surprised at how far this little bit of color can go. You will typically see a lot of doors painted red, but whatever you feel is your style will do.

Dark Colors and Natural Wood:

A lot of suburban homes have accents that feature brick, stone, or even wood. All of these add a little bit of style to the house and can help to add some contrast between the siding and the natural wood accents. The brick, stone, and wood helps to complete the look. However, this look can run a little expensive.

Black Trim:

Black trim looks fantastic when it is paired with a white or any light colors exterior. It helps to draw attention to the architectural features that may be special to your house.

Dust Control During a Remodel

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If you have never experienced a remodel before, it’s safe to say that you will encounter a lot of dust in your home. While the results are exciting to think about, the tear down can become hazardous with loads of particles invading your space, making it hard to breath. Not only that, but whatever insect waste, paint remnants, or any other elements lingering in your walls, will be invading your air. There is a way to keep the level of dust to a minimum. It is even a best practice to ask your contractor how they intend to keep the dust from becoming a nuisance. In the same breath (pun intended), it is always good to know what to do for yourself.

Get Power Tools with Dust Extractors. There are tools on the market that use a sucking mechanism to catch the dust like a vacuum while in use. The percentage of dust captured averages to about 90%. It is unfortunate that not all contractors can afford these tools because it would raise their overhead and prices. But wherever possible, any sawing or sanding should be done outside of the home for minimization of air nuisances.

Put Up Dust Barriers. Power Tools are just a small percentage of the demolition. Tearing down of walls is a huge factor in dust. Because of this, other barriers should be set in place. It is essential that contractors put up tarps in the entrance of the area being worked on. This barrier is also known in the industry as a zipwall. Of course, there is always the chance that the dust will get into the main part of your home with workers going in and out. This is also true when removing debris from the area. For this reason, it is also good to discuss with your contractor how they intend to remove waste.

Use Air Scrubbers. Having a peculiar name, air scrubbers are more like vacuums that are strategically placed on the work site to suck in the dust from the air. The size of the air scrubber is similar to air conditioning units in that the horse power will be dependent on the space being worked in.

With some of these options at your fingertips, the dust in your remodeled area will definitely be very minimal. It will allow you to coexist easier while the work is getting done and you won’t be as displaced as normally anticipated.

Buying the Right Garbage Disposal

f24b43b60bb35e8dbd733846e9355f96At some point in time, the garbage disposal will have to be replaced. The next purchase should be durable and long lasting for the life of your kitchen. The next update to the garbage disposal should last beyond the next kitchen update.. With such a wide range of garbage disposals to consider, the fear of making the wrong choice is heavy.

There are many things to keep in mind when shopping for a new garbage disposal. You’ll be paying for the size of the unit as well as its horsepower. Does the new garbage disposal have a good septic tank? How much noise does it make?

Here are some examples of horsepower to consider when purchasing your next garbage disposal.

1/3. This is the lowest available. If you’re looking for utility level, don’t go for this despite the low cost. It might not break down your waste as well as you’d like it to. Not to mention, it will rust significantly faster than other options. This horsepower is only recommended if you don’t plan on using it often.

1/2. Normally, this option is suggested for home use, and would be considered the minimum. The average price is normally under $100. It’s probably as small as its fiscal value and can fit virtually anywhere you need. Just like the 1/3 horsepower, it is a great choice if the usage will be to a minimum.

If you value your peace and quiet, it may not be your go-to disposal. It is probably one of the loudest available. Another downside of 1/2 horsepower is that you would need to constantly run water to help in the food break down.

3/4. You will find this size appropriate for most kitchens. It provides almost no issues, grinding harder to dispose of waste. Jamming is not something that is a worry. It is far quieter than ½ horsepower. You will definitely need more room for its design as it’s larger than 1/2.

1 Horsepower. If you’re looking for horsepower that can grind harder things, such as bones, this is the option to go with. This model is the quietest of them all. It is also a larger disposal, so it will hold more waste at a time. But with more horsepower comes a need to house a bigger disposal.

Now that you have a better understanding of the options out there, the decision to choose a new garbage disposal will be fairly easier.

Tips of Choosing the Right Toilet Seat

8b9e9a3a41a2953d70f0ba95674e43d3When looking for the right toilet seat for your bathroom, there are definitely more things to consider than the aesthetics. Contrary to belief, size matters. Functionality, among other things, are also important. The tips below are beneficial to choosing the right toilet for your bathroom space.

Size and Shape. There are many seats to choose from. One thing that has to be taken into consideration is the distance between the wall and the sewer drain. Standard in rough-ins is 12 inches.

With small bathrooms, a rounder seat is appropriate to take up less space and is closer to the wall. Longer seats are better for bigger bathrooms and are further from the wall. When the decision is based on budget, the best choice would be the rounder seat.

If you’re looking for comfort, pay attention to the toilet height. The standard size is 14 inches. However, there are new designs that stand taller. Taller seats are also beneficial to more people, not just those that tower in height. They are more accessible to those with disabilities because it is easier to transfer to and from them and sit comfortably.

Style. Styles come a dime a dozen. When looking at affordability, the best avenue to go is a two-piece toilet, although they require more maintenance. A one-piece toilet, while higher in affordability, is easier to clean and maintain. Another option to go with is wall-mounted. With this option, the wall has to be thicker to hold the seating.

Flush Power. While not many people consider the flushing technology, it is vital to choosing a toilet. Earlier models have used 3.5 gallons of water with each flush. This was until the need to conserve water was recognized, and the newer models were designed to flush only 1.6 gallons. With so much less water per flush, the results were not as effective as the earlier models. The newest models today offer a low-flow option with power-assist per flush. However, not all seating is created equal, so it is important to pay attention to the flush power of the toilet you purchase.

Perks. Bidets are usually found in European bathrooms and are not often found in the U.S. However, it is a perk that shouldn’t be overlooked. Those with limited mobility can benefit from having a bidet. It is also less of an irritant than toilet paper.

There are other perks to consider. For example, soft seats can be cozy and accommodating. It also eliminates the stress of slamming toilet lids. Seats can also come with a heating option that is extremely helpful for those cold days. Contrary to believe, certain add-ons are not budget breaking.

A toilet is definitely an investment well worth it since it will be something used on a daily basis. It should be durable, fitting and accommodating. Knowing what has to be considered will allow you to choose the best fit for your space.

How To Choose The Right Cabinet Hardware And Drawer Pulls

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Cabinet hardware and pulls are like accessories, they are personal, show off our personality and can change the look and feel to any cabinet. Re-staining, painting or changing the cabinet facing can make a big difference to your kitchen upgrade but it isn’t complete without the perfect hardware. Continue reading →

How To Save Energy and Money

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With the rising cost of energy, we are always looking for way to save both energy and money. When purchasing our appliances, central units and water heaters we look at the energy labels, we add more insulation to our homes during remodels or a new build because every little bit counts. But did you know there are little things that you can do to help reduce your energy bill and save you money throughout the year. Continue reading →