November 2011

Christmas Décor: Go Light On The Inflatables

"No yard should have more than two smaller inflatables or one large inflatable."

Well, the turkey day is over and it's time to break out the Christmas decorations. Recently, there has been a substantial increase in the types of large scale inflatable decorations. I have seen entire yards filled with every type and shape of inflatable imaginable.

I personally hate these things. If you have a 10-foot tall Santa Claus in your yard, then it just looks like a bad car dealership sale. I am not saying you can't have one or two in your overall décor scheme, but have a little commonsense. Gauge how much space you have in your yard and don't over do it.

Stay Safe: Install a Carbon Monoxide Detector

"You should install a detector on every level of your home"

Carbon monoxide is a deadly gas that is produced by the burning of fuels such as coal, natural gas and wood.  It is virtually undetectable, which is what makes it so dangerous.  According to the Consumer Products Safety Commission, an average of 170 people die from carbon monoxide poisoning each year, and that does not count the deaths attributed to automobile carbon monoxide.  The best way to keep your family safe is by purchasing a carbon monoxide detector.

Spring Cleaning in the Winter

When the flowers bloom, everyone seems to get the bug to clean their home. I guess that's why they call it spring cleaning, but you should do a through cleaning of your home at least twice a year. Why? A family can accumulate a lot of stuff in a year or six months. Why make it a weekend of back breaking labor taking out that old couch, when you can half your efforts by doing a good cleaning six months earlier.

The winter is the perfect time to do that cleaning. It's too cold to go outside and you've got family coming in for Thanksgiving and Christmas, so why not get the cleaning out of the way so it can look immaculate.

You're stuck in the house anyway and cleaning is a great to stave off cabin fever. Nothing makes you crave the outdoors more than a unclean house. It could be clutter or broken appliances that just need to go.

How to Mount Shelf Brackets

"Mounting shelf brackets is a quick and easy do it yourself task"

If you are short on storage space, add a shelf or series of shelves to a room to greatly increase your storage capacity.  Use shelves in the pantry for canned goods, in the office for reference books, or in your children's rooms for toys, books and other necessities.  The key to a sturdy, reliable shelf system is correctly choosing and installing the brackets the shelves will rest on.

How To Close A Mouse Hole

Anyone that lives out in the country or near a field likely has had to deal with the unpleasant mouse. This little disease bearing rodents can make anyone nervous because they are just naturally creepy. No matter how clean you think your house is seeing a rat immediately brings thoughts of garbage dumps and the bubonic plague.

While they may not give you the Black Death, mice can chew holes in your walls and floors. They can eat your food and be a general nuisance. When you see a mouse hole, the first thing you need to do is close it up. If they can't get to you, then you don't have to worry about them eating your food. The problem is these little buggers can chew through almost anything.

Lower Your Heating Costs in a Matter of Minutes

Now that winter is fast approaching and we must begin heating our homes once again, we have the opportunity to implement substantial savings in just a few minutes.  Doorways are often overlooked as a way to improve energy efficiency and as a result, cold drafts blow in while money blows out.  In about ten minutes’ time and just a few dollars, you can reduce those drafts, saving money in the process.

Clean Out Your Vents

 

I don't use my central air system all that much, so once the winter season is over the vents in my home don't get much use. One of the biggest ways a home can waste energy and be a possible fire hazard is to have vents that are clogged.

Through the years, dust and other items can accumulate in the ducts. If you have small children, then they can put toys, food and other items in the vent. This can cause a substantial decrease in air flow and if the air is hot enough, it can heat the items up and eventually cause them to catch on fire.

The best way to clean out the vents is to simple pull off the grates and start pulling things out. Take a vacuum hose and stick in to get the small items that are too far to reach. Use a flashlight to see as far back as possible. If there are large items that you can't reach, then you may have to physically remove the duct work to get it out.

Start a Home Tool Kit

What you need and where to begin.

If there is one thing that is certain about owning your home, it is that you will eventually need to make some kind of repairs.  Whether it is simply nailing down a board on the porch or replacing a leaky faucet, there are many small home improvement projects you can do on your own quickly and easily, as long as you have the proper tools.

A home tool kit can also be an excellent housewarming gift for a new homeowner, and is one that you can be sure they will make great use of in the future.  Begin by purchasing a small, portable toolbox to hold your home tools in, and then add the following basic tools to get you started: