Three Reasons to Waterproof Your Basement

Finishing your basement gives you extra space in your home that you can use as a guest bedroom, a home office or a rec room that your whole family can use. Though some people are lucky enough to have finished basements in their homes, other homes feature basements with mold and mildew issues caused by water that seeps through the walls during a storm. Before meeting with waterproofing contractors Atlanta GA residents who own their own homes may want to look at some of the top reasons to waterproof a basement.

Less Structural Damage

The biggest reason to pay for basement waterproofing is because it reduces the amount of structural damage you experience later. Structural damage occurs when the water from the outside comes through the concrete walls in your basement. That water can freeze inside the walls and cause air pockets to form that eventually become larger and weaken the walls. Any water that reaches the basement can also cause significant damage to the floors and any furniture or other belongings you store in that space.

More Comfort

Does your basement feel so cold and chilly that you only use it for extra storage or as a place to store your washer and dryer? Basements in the Atlanta area and other parts of the state can feel extremely uncomfortable because there isn’t any insulation inside the walls. Waterproofing your basement helps you increase the comfort of that space and gives you more ways to use it. The sealant used on the walls stops moisture from coming through and can actually help regulate the temperature of the room. When your basement feels warmer and more comfortable, you’ll want to spend more time in the room.

Save Money

Though some people complain that waterproofing a basement costs a lot of money, you need to consider the amount that you can save over time. If your basement is prone to flooding after a minor storm, you’ll need to pay someone to come in and pump out the excess water or invest in your own sump pump. That water can cause damage to the walls and floors as well as your washer and dryer. Waterproofing helps you save because you do not need to cover these repairs later. Contact local waterproofing contractors today to see what your basement needs and to get an estimate on the cost of the job.

Update The Kitchen On A Budget

If you don’t have a lot of money, there are a few tips for renovating a kitchen so that you have space where you can cook and enjoy meals with the family. You want to begin planning for kitchen renovations as soon as you can so that you can start saving money and getting the materials that are needed. You’ll also want to start looking for contractors who can help with the details that you aren’t sure how to complete.

Cabinets that are a bit outdated can be hidden by a fresh coat of white paint. It’s an easy renovation that won’t cost a lot of money. Another benefit of using white paint in the kitchen is that you can focus more on the accessories and appliances instead of the base color as everything will blend with white. Fresh paint will also save money that would have been spent on new cabinets.

Another option when it comes to the cabinets is to just remove the doors and paint the shelves white. This open design is quite popular with many homes. It allows for an open space where you can display everything from dishes that would normally be hidden away to trinkets that you want to showcase in the kitchen. Add a splash of color with backsplash behind the stove or the sink. Make sure you use the same colors and design so that everything flows along the wall. Mirrored tiles can make the room seem larger. You can often get small panels of tiles in a variety of colors and designs at home improvement stores without spending a lot of money.

Change the lighting in the kitchen for a brighter atmosphere that doesn’t involve spending much money from your budget. Pendants that hang under the cabinets highlight the counters, giving you more light when you’re preparing meals. Avoid changing any of the plumbing as this can eat away at the budget that you have. If you want to transform anything about the plumbing, then change the faucet for a new design. When you’re looking for high-end materials, like granite, visit a supply yard as there are usually remnant pieces that are a fraction of the original price.

5 Year-Around Gardening Tips for Brighter, Beautiful Flowers

If you’ve ever visited a botanical garden, then you know it is indeed possible to keep bright, beautiful flowers blooming year-around. Here are 5 tips to helping you maintain a vibrant, gorgeous garden on an annual basis.

Use Crushed Eggshells for a Nutritional Soil Boost

This gardening hack is especially useful if you raise chickens for their eggs. If not, befriend a farmer to see if you can snag eggshells at a discount. Eggshells are high in nutrients, especially calcium, which is great for plants and flowers. Bake your eggshells on low until the interiors turn a golden brown, then crush them into what would resemble ashes. Incorporate the eggshells into the soil gradually, by hand, to give your garden a nutritional boost.

Plan Your Watering Days Around Rainy Days

One of the worst things for your garden is an overflow of water. It drowns out your efforts by floating your seeds and over-soaking the soils. So, to avoid a small flood, check the weather to plan your watering days around rainy days. On rainy days, watch the water levels to ensure your garden gets enough saturation.

Weed Your Garden on a Regular Basis

Weeds can choke your seeds and buds, making it harder for anything to grow in that particular patch of soil. Dandelions, while gorgeous, are some of the worst weeds for a garden because the seeds continue to blow off and replant themselves to spawn more. Pluck the weeds from your garden as soon as you see them.

Hire a Professional Gardener for Your Days Away

When you plan on taking a trip elsewhere for a few days, hire a professional gardener to tend your garden while you’re gone. Fortunately, most professionals are very affordable, and they will follow your gardening regimen perfectly. Call around, ask about services, provide specifications, and hire a gardener with experience and expertise in your garden type. You should also aim to protect your garden, especially if you have an especially large garden. Don’t be afraid to invest in industrial fencing Jacksonville FL, or wherever you are, to keep your gardening efforts safe.

Never Use Chemical-Laden Fertilizers

Chemical-laden fertilizers may help your plants along in the growing cycles, but they can damage your soil and make it harder for you to reuse that patch for future gardens. Some chemicals can even overgrow flowers and plants, causing them to swell with excess water. When possible, go natural with eggshells or composted fertilizers that you make yourself.

Consider these tips starters to a beautiful garden, rife with year-round blossoms. Remember, when in doubt, hire a professional gardener on a more long-term basis and ask questions to learn from a pro.

How to Find a Great Fence Dealer

Are you interested in buying a fence for your home? If this is the case, you must enter into this sort of purchase very cautiously. This is because you will be spending a considerable amount of money. Therefore, you need to be sure that all of your money is going towards a quality fence that will last you for many years to come. You should never buy a fence from the first dealer that you come across. You owe it to yourself to take a look at all of the fence dealer options that are available to you. Here are a few useful tips that will assist you in finding a great place to buy your fence.

1. How many different types of fencing is available from the dealer?

You never want to do your shopping at a store that has a very limited inventory of fencing. You want to be exposed to as many different types of fences as possible. You might discover a great style of fencing that you were not aware of before. Never buy a fence just because the selection at the dealer you were shopping at left a lot to be desired. You should only settle for exactly what you are looking for. Keep looking if the dealer you are visiting does not have the specific type of fence you want in stock. Do not settle for wood if you have your heart set on buying vinyl fencing Tampa.

2. Does the dealer offer installation service?

The fence that you end up buying will need to be installed by professionals who have a great deal of experience doing that sort of thing. You will need to inquire with your fence dealer if they also offer installation service. There are some fence dealers that will also install your fence for you for an additional fee. Check with the dealer to find out all the particulars about pricing.

3. Will the dealer be able to special order a certain type of fencing for you?

There is a possibility that you will not be able to find the type of fencing that you want at the dealers you visit. If this is the case, see if any of these dealers will be able to place a special order for you. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by asking.

Understanding your fridge for easier appliance repairs  

A fridge is among the several devices in your home that runs constantly, day or night, maintaining your food cold. If you think about how difficult a fridge has to work, it is in fact rather amazing they break down so sometimes. On the rare event your fridge does cease working, you could face a high repair bill as well as the expense of replacing all of your lost food. You may be surprised to discover that repairs are in fact fairly simple, needing only a little knowledge about the equipment as well as a bit of patience. Refrigerators and deep freezers consist of two fundamental parts: a condenser coil as well as an evaporator coil.

A liquid refrigerant is circulated through these coils with a compressor as well as a motor. The refrigerant fluid is cooled in the condenser, after that it flows to the evaporator. In the evaporator, the air in the unit is cooled with contact with the liquid filled coil. The condenser of a fridge or icebox is the coil on the outside the unit, the evaporator is the coil on the in. The coolant is circulated throughout the system by a compressor. In this kind of unit, a heater is immediately switched on by a timer so as to melt the frost in the unit.

Frost is fused by the heater at several different points of the unit, beginning with the chilliest and most frosted areas. When the frost is totally melted, the thermostat immediately switches to a chilling cycle so as to preserve the standard freezing temperature. Since this process is automatic, frost doesn’t build up inside the box. The unit’s compressor system, which strengthens the coolant throughout the coil system, is powered by a capacitor type motor. Other basic parts of the cooling/defrosting system include switches, thermostats, heaters, condensers, and fans. A do-it yourselfer can test as well as replace some of those fridge components. There are conditions, as described later, which are best left to a pro repair person. Caution: Before doing any work on just a fridge or refrigerator, make sure it is unplugged. After disconnecting l.nit, check to see if the motor/compressor has a capacitor, this component is located in a housing on the top of the motor. Need support? Call a fridge repair engineer.

Tips to Locate a Quality Landscaper

Having attractive landscaping is something that every home or business needs. It makes your property look great and it keeps your neighbors from complaining at the same time. You will discover that there are many landscaping companies out there. All of them claim to do the highest quality of work. So how can you truly tell which of these companies is truly worth hiring? This task is not as easy as it would seem. It will require some investigating on your part. The time you spend doing this will pay off in the long run. Here are some of the major details that you need to keep in mind during your search for a landscaper.

1. What services are provided by the landscaping company?

Some landscapers will only offer specific services. Ideally, you want to find a landscaping company that will handle every job that you need to have completed. This could include trimming branches off trees, pruning hedges and mowing the grass. You might need to have new trees, hedges, bushes or grass planted. There is also a chance that you might need a company that handles erosion management Atlanta Georgia. All landscaping companies should have the services they offer clearly listed on their website. Call companies that do not list their services and find out what they offer.

2. Will the landscaping company give you a discount if you agree to use them regularly?

You might want to have a landscaper come back to your home or business on a regular basis throughout the summer. If this is the case, you would be wise to inquire about a discount. Many landscapers do this sort of thing for regular customers as an incentive to retain their business. This sort of discount could save you a lot of money. Call several landscapers in your area to determine which ones will offer a discount to loyal customers.

3. Look at a landscaping company’s previous work before hiring them.

You need to find out if a landscaping company has a reputation for doing quality work. The only way you will truly be able to determine this is by taking the time to check out some of the homes and businesses they have worked on previously. Examine the landscaping at all of these locations and ask yourself if you would like to have your own property look the same.

How to Reduce Your Energy Usage

The energy bill is often one of the most expensive costs that are associated with renting or owning a home. From running the refrigerator to turning lights on, there are several ways that you’re using a significant amount of electricity. When you want to reduce your costs and your carbon footprint, there are a few important changes to make.

Caulk Holes and Cracks

Holes or cracks that have developed on your home can cause air to escape and can also allow air from the outside to get into the home. Seal holes or cracks that have developed to prevent your HVAC system from working harder than necessary to maintain the interior climate of the home.

Schedule an Inspection

Hire a professional to inspect your HVAC system to ensure that it’s running well and is in good condition. Use a company that can perform ac repair Williamsburg VA to improve the quality of the appliance and increase its lifespan. HVAC systems that are running well will use less energy and can cool or heat the home in a shorter amount of time.

Add a Cool Roof Coat

Cool roof coats can be applied to your shingles or tiles, which reflect UV rays and prevent them from penetrating through the structure. The coat contains reflective pigments and will prevent the inside of the home from becoming warmer throughout the day. Your home will be 10 to 18 degrees cooler than the outside of the building with 30 to 90 percent of the heat reflected.

Use Blackout Curtains

Hang blackout curtains in rooms of the home that become the warmest during the day in the summer season. Blackout curtains will prevent heat from transferring into your home through the windows and will allow the interior setting to stay cooler to avoid using the air conditioner for longer periods of time. Keep the curtains closed during the middle of the day and the evening until the sun goes down.

Rely on Ceiling Fans

To keep the home cooler, you can rely on ceiling fans or portable pedestal fans in the living rooms and bedrooms. The products use less energy than the air conditioner and will create a comfortable setting.

You can save hundreds of dollars each season by reducing your home’s energy bill. With the right steps taken, it will be easy to maintain a comfortable interior setting without relying on as much electricity.

The Benefits of Using Stone Pavers

Landscaping can be an expensive venture if you allow it to be. This is why it’s a good idea to keep an open mind when it comes to alternative ways to add sizzle and pop to your landscaping inexpensively. Using pavers in your landscaping efforts can add a huge boost in the curb appeal of your home without breaking the bank.
The Benefits of Using Stone Pavers for Landscaping

Using stone in your design efforts is savvy and smart. Natural stone is incredibly resilient and low maintenance which helps in the cost saving arena. Depending on the type of stone you’re using, most can stand up against the perils of changing the weather and other assaults, even high traffic use. For the most part, the most money you will spend is on the initial purchase of natural stone pavers, after that you can look forward to many years of use.
The Design Options are Infinite

Aside from the resilience and cost effectiveness of decorating with natural stone, you can be extremely creative with these multi-purpose natural wonders. The sky is literally the limit. Creating a low maintenance sitting area using stone pavers as your outdoor flooring can usually be achieved easily and without as much time and effort, as building a deck or pouring a concrete slab, would require. Natural stone pavers allow your design efforts to be up and running without expending a lot of time or needing a lot of materials.
Natural Stone Choices can be Used to Complement your Landscaping

There are a wide variety of natural stones that can be used when it comes time to put your design ideas into action. However, make sure that you are choosing the type of natural stone that will be best suited for your yard and lifestyle. If you are someone with mobility issues, choosing a smooth high maintenance stone probably will not work for you. Additionally, if your soil has a lot of clay in it, you may want to choose light-weight stones that will be less prone to shifting and sinking. Furthermore, if you are on a budget, choosing expensive natural stones that may require you to use commercial hard money lenders california to pay for your design efforts is probably not a good idea either.
It’s not difficult to boost your home’s curb appeal on a modest budget. Stone pavers help in this effort. They have the ability to add beauty, value, and interest to any home, in addition to allowing your creative juices to flow. Natural stone is often a low maintenance, durable and affordable option when it comes to decorating your home’s exterior.

Vacation Rental Homes in The United States

There’s a new idea in travel these days, and it’s all about having an experience that goes beyond just being a tourist and experiencing the surface of things. Today the idea of sharing a home and having a “home away from home” experience is catching on. What’s more, using a travel site is also a great way to travel on a budget.

New Sites With New Travel Options

There are a wealth of new travel sites online today, like, that offer travelers a chance to stay in a private home when they visit a city, rather than book a hotel. Staying in a home is much less expensive than most hotels, and offers a real warmth that is missing in most hotels. These types of sites are an incredible, easy to use solution for people who are looking for vacation rental homes in the united states when planning a trip.
Beyond the comfort level a home offers, staying a home in a city neighborhoods offers a hugely rewarding experience to travels who really want to know what a city is all about. A clean and welcoming home in a great city like New York, Chicago, Washington or Baltimore will let a traveler in on what that city is really like and how it feels to live there. A traveler can learn about the kinds of restaurants and entertainment people who live there enjoy, not just the places that tourism bureaus advertise.
Staying in a private home can also be a way to meet great people who help to make a city vibrant, which is another added plus of staying in a shared home arrangement.

Renting Out Your Home to Travelers

These shared travel sites also offer property owners a way to earn extra money by offering their homes out as rental units to travelers. Property owners can post photos of their rentals on the site with detailed information about the area the home is located in and about the home itself. Travelers who are interested can contact the owner through the site, and arrange for a rental stay.

There’s no doubt that these types of travel sites offer a win-win arrangement for both travelers who want to truly engage with a city, and for property owners who are open to earning extra cash.

So, next time you are planning a vacation, take a look at some of the great online sites for rentals before booking that hotel!

What to Do if your Homeowners Insurance Claim is Denied

Insurance premiums are paid to protect the homeowner in the even the unthinkable happens. Whether it is a fire, flood, or some other tragedy that strikes, homeowners insurance should cover the damage. However, there may be problems when it comes time to collect. What can be done if the insurance company denies the claim?

Public Adjusters can Help

Most homeowners have a general idea of what their insurance policy covers. They know they should read the fine print but the wording of the policy may not always be clear. It is a good idea to hire a pubic adjuster before filing the claim with the insurance company. United States Adjusters is an example of a company that can provide a public insurance adjuster to help homeowners. If an adjuster is hired before filing the claim they have the advantage of inspecting and calculating the amount of the damage first.

Investigating the Claim

The insurance company will send an investigator to view the damage and take statements from the homeowners. This often results in settlements that are far less than the damage or an outright denial. Homeowners may be at a loss to understand why this is happening after they have faithfully paid their premiums.

The reason for this is that the insurance companies are in business to make money – not pay it out. This can result in their investigators trying to twist the truth so they can say the damage was not covered by the policy. They may delay the process so long that the homeowner feels like giving up. This can cause a significant hardship when the damage is extensive.

Homeowners Advocate

Since the insurance company has a representative, homeowners should have someone on their side. An adjuster that works for the homeowner can handle all aspects of the claim. They can talk to the insurance company, take care of submitting all the paperwork needed, and help homeowners get the amount needed to repair the damage.

Because most insurance policies contain so much legal language it is difficult for the homeowner to understand everything. Adjusters have the training it takes to understand what is and is not covered in the policy. They will negotiate with the insurance company with the best interests of the homeowner in mind.