Tips to Maintain Your Basement

Posted on 15. Aug, 2017 by .


basement pumps

Your basement might be out of sight but that doesn’t mean it should be out of mind. Your basement needs TLC too and you should be diligent in giving it the proper care it needs each year. Here are a few tips on how to maintain your home’s basement and avoid serious home repairs or damage:

#1. Clean Your Gutters

That’s right. One of the most important things you can do to maintain your basement is to clean your gutters on a regular basis. We recommend you clean them at least twice a year. This ensures that the rain water and other debris flows through the gutter and out the downspout and away from the foundation of your home. If gutters overflow with water it can cause to water spilling over and resting on the foundation of the home.

Ensure the downspout runs the water from the gutters at least 5 ft. away from your home. If water rests near the foundation of the home it can leak into the basement and cause water damage or causing swelling in the basement walls and lead to cracks in the walls.

#2. Check Your Home’s Grading

You want positive grading where water flows away from your home. You can do this by inspecting the ground after it rains. If water sits near the home in puddles and pools about around the foundation and base of your home, you need to call a local service for foundation repair and help in correcting the grading of your home.

#3. Window Wells

You should clear window wells and make sure the drain isn’t clogged. You can cover them with a panel to let light in but still prevent water from leaking into the window well and into your basement.

#4. Cracks in Your Basement Walls

Inspect the walls in your basement every few months for cracks. Cracks are a sign of foundation damage and soon moisture will seep through the cracks and lead to water damage. Cracks in your basement wall require professional attention.

#5. Maintain Your Sump Pump

You should perform routine maintenance on your sump pump and clean the screen and inlet opening often to avoid blockage. You should test the pump every 3-4 months to ensure it works by pouring water into it. You should remove and clean the sump pit once every year too.

You will notice that many of the tips revolve around protecting the foundation of the home. Most should also prevent water damage to any items or décor in your basement.

We also recommend to install carpet tiles in your basement instead of wall-to-wall carpet. This way, if any moisture does reach the interior of your basement, you will only need to replace the damaged carpet tile instead of the entire floor.

Remember, it is just as important if not more so to maintain your basement as much or more than any other room in your home in order to ensure the well-being of your home. It might be out of sight but any problem could become a very big repair or cost.

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How to Install a Stair Railing

Posted on 28. Jul, 2017 by .


stair rail

A typical stair railing gets a lot of use over the years. If you think about it, stair railings receive a lot of pressure and weight as people climb up or down the stairs in your home. For the safety of your home, we recommend installing a new stair railing every few years to ensure you always have a stable railing to use.

If you do not have a stair railing on a set of stairs in your home, you need to complete this project ASAP. To be up-to-date with safety and building codes in your home, it is required that you have a stair railing on each set of stairs in your home.

To install a stair railing is a very easy DIY project for your home. You do not need to hire a professional. This project requires no more than one or two hours of your time and should only cost around $50-100 from start to finish. Don’t delay. This project could prevent a major injury to you or anyone living in your home.

Tools & Materials:

  • Measuring Tape
  • Level
  • Chalk
  • Stud Finder
  • Drill/Driver
  • Drill Bits
  • Quick Square
  • Carpenter’s Square
  • Handrail
  • Brackets

You will also need to wear safety gear throughout the project. This includes eye protection and gloves. Safety is always the most important step in any home repair project or DIY.

The first step is to measure how long of a stair railing you will need. To do this, use your tape measurer and measure from the front overhang of the very bottom step to the front overhang of the very top step. We recommend buying a railing 1 ft. longer than your measurements in order to have some room for error.

Now measure the brackets to determine the length between the drill holes. To do this, measure from the bottom of the bracket to the end of the bracket using your quick square. You can use your measuring tape as well if you prefer.

You should now mark the rail height of the stair railing and continue upward using chalk to mark a line from the bottom stair to the landing at the top of the stair.

Now find the studs in the wall along the chalk line in order to determine where to drill the holes for the railing brackets. You should use your stud finer for this to ensure accuracy.

Most staircases only require three brackets to secure a stair railing to the wall. You will want to drill in the stud closest to the top of the stairs, closest to the middle of the chalk line and closest to the bottom of the chalk line and stairs.

Now drill the brackets into the wall along the pencil marks you made on the chalk line. You don’t need to press too hard when drilling the holes for the brackets.

Then the last step is to install the railing itself. To do this, use the drill to screw the railing into the other end of the attached brackets on the wall. You should pre-drill the holes before installing the screws onto the underside of the stair railing.

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How to Clean Gutters?

Posted on 16. Jun, 2017 by .


clean gutter

There are some chores around your home that are easy to put off. Most homeowners take out the garbage, clean up their outdoor patio or mow their lawn when needed but some important projects continue to get ignored week after week.

One of those projects is cleaning your gutters. It’s not a very exciting do-it-yourself home project. For some reason, homeowners never remember to do this job or just don’t want to do it. But the longer you wait to clean your gutters the bigger of a project it is. Don’t wait to long in between each time you clean your gutters. Here are some tips on how to do the job easy:

Why Is It Important?

The reason it is important to complete this job for your home is because debris, leaves and other clutter will fill up and collect in your gutters over time. A little debris isn’t a big deal but after a lot of it piles up it will block the downspouts of your gutter. This is not good and can lead to water damage. The water will spill over the sides of the gutter and land on your foundation and rest there. The more water that rests on your foundation over time the greater chance of damaging your foundation.

How Often?

You don’t need to clean your gutters every day or every week. You don’t even need to do this job every month. We recommend that you clean the gutters on your home two times each year. You should clean them once in the fall and once in the spring. That should be enough but if there are a lot of trees a foliage hanging over or near your gutters than you might want to consider doing the job once or twice more in a year.


We recommend cleaning gutters after the weather has been dry for a few days. If the weather has been dry, then the debris in the gutters should also be dry and this will make it much easier to remove. Wet debris will stick to the gutters and be much messier.



You don’t need many tools for this project. Here are the tools we recommend for cleaning gutters:

  • Ladder
  • Trough
  • Garden Hose
  • Screwdriver
  • Bucket
  • Work Gloves

Step 1:

Climb the ladder and carry up your bucket and your tools. Don’t climb further than the second to last step of the ladder for safety reasons.

Step 2:

Start near the downspout and remove all debris piled up and blocking the downspout. Use your trough to remove the clumped together mud or dirt and small bits of debris in the gutters.

Place all of the debris in the bucket you are using. You can dump out the debris in a garbage bag or garbage can at the end of the project.

Step 3:

Once most of the dry debris and clumps of leaves and dirt are removed, bring your hose up on the ladder and spray water through the gutters to rinse out any mud or dirt that is stuck onto the bottom or sides of the gutter.

If the water doesn’t drain, then there is something clogging the downspout. You can go down to the ground and try to remove anything from the bottom of the downspout but you might need to unscrew higher portions of the downspout to find the blockage and remove it.

You can try to remove the blockage by snaking your garden hose up the downspout from the bottom and flushing out the blockage from that way.

Continue this step until the water from your house is properly running down the gutter and out the bottom of your downspout.

To clean your gutters is a very easy and very important home repair you should do at least two times each year. Depending on the size of your home, the project shouldn’t require much more than 30-60 minutes to complete.

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How to Improve the Look of Your Patio in Just 3 Steps

Posted on 04. Jun, 2017 by .


Having a great patio is the one thing that most people are looking for. However, because not everyone knows how to do restoration or home improvements on their own, they don’t really know how they can get that great looking patio that everyone is looking for. With these three steps, you will have a patio that you can enjoy without hiring a professional or without spending too much money on the patio:

New coat of paint

Step number one is a new coat of paint. You don’t need to paint your patio the same color as the rest of your home. You can change the color to make the patio more inviting and friendlier. White paint is out.

If you want to have a great looking patio, then you should not paint your walls white. There are many other colors that you can paint your patio that will look a lot better than just white. You can choose a dark color or you can choose a light, pastel color.

Changing the flooring

It isn’t as hard or expensive to change the flooring of your patio. There are many different options that you can choose. And depending on your budget, you can change it to laminate flooring or bricks.

In order to change your flooring, you need to take in consideration your vision for the patio and you need to consider the paint that you have painted the walls of the patio. You want to make sure that everything is going to fit perfectly to have a great looking patio.

Plants and furniture

The third step is to purchase some plants and patio furniture. There are a large variety of furniture and plants that you can purchase for your patio that will make your vision of the patio come true.

You only need to consider what your budget is going to be. Another thing that you should make sure about, is that you are going to purchase furniture that will not damage when you are going to leave it outside. Not all the patios are closed and there is always the possibility that rain and sunlight can cause damage over time.  The one thing that you can do, is to do research to find furniture that will be a great fit to your patio. Plants are a great addition to any patio. You can purchase larger plants or smaller plants that you can hang from the ceiling. It depends on you and the season that you want to sit and relax on the patio.

It doesn’t need to be a huge task to upgrade your patio and to renovate it to make it more functional and looking great. This can be a great space for relaxation and for having parties. But, then you need to make sure that your patio is functional and a great space to relax. With these three steps, you will be able to have a great patio. And, the best part is that you can do most of the work if you don’t want to hire someone for the upgrade or for improving the overall look of the patio.

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Doing Home Improvements Yourself or Using a Professional?

Posted on 04. Jun, 2017 by .


Many people are wondering if they should do the home improvements themselves or if they should hire a professional for doing the improvements for you. Many people prefer to do the improvements themselves because this will let them save money. However, this isn’t always recommended to do the improvements yourself. Here are a couple of things you should consider and ask yourself, before you decide that you want to do such a huge task yourself:

Do you have the time for doing it yourself?

If you are going to do the home improvement yourself, do you really have the time to do it? Doing home improvements is taking a lot of time. Time that you might not have.

There are many people that are using their weekends to do some improvements, and this is okay, if you are willing to spend months on working weekends and doing the improvements, the home needs. It can become frustrating after a while. A job like installing carpet tiles is fast and easy. A job like installing wall-to-wall carpet is long and hard. You need to know how much time each project requires and determine what you are capable of.

It might cost more, but will have a more professional look

When you are hiring a professional to do the improvements for you, you might be paying a little more money than what you hoped for. However, you will be able to have a professional look that will last you for years.

The professionals that are doing home improvements have the right knowledge and experience to do the improvements correctly and to give that professional look when it is finished.

Using the right materials

Finding and using the right materials for your projects might be harder than what you realize. This can be frustrating to try to find the right materials that will not cost you a lot of money.

This is something that a professional will be able to find a lot faster. And, they have a much better chance to find the higher quality materials for a lower price. Something that you as a beginner improver won’t be able to do.

Do you have the experience to do it correctly?

Not everyone has the experience to do home improvements to last. If you are not a handyman and you don’t know how to repair stuff in and around the home, you will not be able to do it correctly. This is one of the reasons why most people are rather spending more money and hiring someone to do the work for them. They have the right experience and will know exactly how to do everything. And, how to do it correctly. Then, you don’t need to worry about doing anything wrong and make a mess of things.

When it comes to doing home improvements, you need to make sure that you are deciding if you are going to do it yourself, or if you are going to hire someone to do it for you. These things are some things that you should consider so that you can know for sure that you are doing the right thing. There are people that can do the improvements themselves, but there are people that should rather hire someone to do it for them.

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