Tips for Choosing House Painting Colors

It is often said that the easiest way to change the appearance of a home is to paint it. And, while this is true, knowing what colors to paint your home’s exterior, or perhaps determine what color to paint a particular room, is rarely as easy as it sounds. Just take a walk down the paint aisle of your local home improvement store or visit a paint store and you will quickly discover that the days of simple red or white are no more. There are now more hue variations than one can begin to imagine. Add in the number tools, brushes, trays, etc. and just the thought of a weekend spent house painting can be overwhelming!

Thankfully, house painting doesn’t have to be terrifying or overwhelming. With an understanding of the following paint selection tips from house painting pros and average homeowners, you can have a new look for your home in no time at all.

Paint Selection Tips for Anyone

· Start in a smaller space. You don’t have to paint a main space first. Choose a small room, a hallway, or even and accent wall. Use an area rug, pillow, piece of artwork, or some other piece with a color you like in it, and take it to the store with you. The salesperson can help you find a paint color to match, or either custom mix that color for you.

· Use paint to enhance the existing architecture. By painting molding, mantel, built-ins, or doors, you can add color in a small way and make a decision regarding main wall color after you have lived with the new look for a few days/weeks.

· Note what rooms are visible to one another. Pay attention to what colors are used (if any) and how much of each room can be seen from an adjoining room. Consider keeping adjoining spaces in neutral tones as these are nearly foolproof choices.

· Think about the mood you want to create. Rich colors such as brown, deep greens, rich reds, etc. lend an air of intimacy and warmth; while softer colors like blue, light yellow or green have calming affects.

· Think about your lighting. Natural lights show the truest color, incandescent lights bring out the warm tones and, fluorescent lighting casts a blue tone.

· Know the terms. Hue is the term for color; the value refers to how light or dark it is, saturation refers to how dominant the hue is; and, intensity is the brilliance of the color.

Choosing a paint color for your next makeover project doesn’t have to be intimidating. You can walk with confidence into any paint aisle and make the decision with ease. Then, it’s just a matter of painting the space yourself or calling in a professional such as the Bay Country Painters. Regardless of your choice, you can have a great new look for your home in no time at all.

Tips on Buying an Older Mobile Home

For years, I have repeatedly and loudly proclaimed “I AM NEVER LIVING IN A TRAILER EVER AGAIN. NEVER EVER.” Well, sometimes never comes pretty quickly.

In March, I moved from the wilds of Western New York state into a suburb of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. While I’m very glad to be “back down south” again, I am, oncelake-wales-mobile-home-insurance again, living in a mobile home. Oh lord, I’m trailer trash! Again.

I also did one of the things that you should never do when buying a mobile home, especially an older one (mine is a 1980). I entered into the agreement pretty much sight unseen. I’m not irresponsible with my money with respect to paying bills (I clarified because I think I have 14 pairs of flip flops), but even I knew that this could possibly end badly. I was in a situation where my decisions had to be made quickly and inspecting the home prior to moving was not something I had the luxury of doing.

I got lucky.

Yes, my trailer is kind of ugly on the outside – it’s a two-tone brown and tan number – and there are some cosmetic issues on the inside as well as some serious problems that are in the process of being repaired, but it could have been a whole lot worse.

Mobile homes can be a lot more roomy than they appear from the outside. This is my living area.
Dining room when it was waiting for a kitchen table!
My house may be short on pretty, but it’s long on storage space. I have a total of 20 kitchen cabinets and four of these huge closets – you’re only seeing one side of it open!
That huge bathtub almost makes up for that wallpaper. Almost.

History of Mobile Homes

The modern mobile home began with travel trailers, or what we now refer to as RVs (recreational vehicles, think Winnebago). These things started out as little rooms, basically, that could be towed behind cars or trucks, thus eliminating the need for hotel rooms while on vacation and designed to be more secure and comfortable than a tent for camping.

Travel trailers began production in 1926 and, by the late 1940s, some enterprising folks figured out that they could make travel trailers that were meant to be permanent and affordable homes.

First came the single-wide which could be as large as 18 by 90 feet, then came the double-wides which essentially double the width of the home.

Essentially, with the exception of the newer homes, most trailers do still have axles and wheels attached to the underside, unless the home has been put on a foundation. This makes it easier to haul it wherever it needs to go.

Mobile homes are now manufactured in all kinds of crazy ways and some folks prefer the term prefabricated (prefab) or modular to mobile home. They even make these things with multiple stories now!

The prices have changed dramatically, too. What once was touted as an industry that made affordable housing is now producing double and triple wides that can cost in excess of $80,000. Though that might seem like a deal, the cost of the land has to be considered and know that the value of your mobile, prefab or modular will never increase.

Things to Think About When Buying an Older Mobile Home

Though they are now technically referred to as “manufactured” homes, many of us still call them trailers or mobile homes. Here are some things to consider before buying one.

  • Outdated Décor – A lot of the newer models have all kinds of frills, but many of the older trailers do not. Be aware before you even begin your journey that you are most likely not going to find skylights, wood flooring, drywall or many of the finer things that some folks expect from the newer homes. You’ll probably find awful wallpaper, wood paneling, linoleum and lots of it!
  • Plumbing – Believe it or not, most older trailers have plumbing fixtures that are not industry standard for regular homes. Your pipes, drains and even some of your fixtures are going to be made for mobile homes only and your replacement parts may be hard to come by and/or expensive. Also, it is rare for a mobile home with any kind of age on it to have shut off valves for sinks, tubs and toilets. If you have to make a repair, you’ll have to shut off all the water to the trailer.
  • Interior Parts – Just like with the plumbing, doors, doorknobs and windows are difficult to replace on older model mobile homes because they are specially made for trailers. These parts are getting harder and harder to find and some enterprising sellers have realized this and the prices on some things can go through the roof. My advice is to know in advance where you will be able to find affordable parts for your trailer.
  • Stability – Unless your new home is sitting on a foundation, which most older mobile homes are not, it will likely be up on cinder blocks or other structures to make it stable. This is not a bad thing, but it does make for an interesting thunderstorm experience – these things can shake pretty good. Also, someone jumping up and down on the floor on one end of the house could bounce you right out of bed!
  • Windows – Most of the windows on older model mobile homes are not the same as on regular houses. They’ve got little levers that you have to press to open or close them and the storm windows are often put into place on the inside and held in with little plastic clips that can break pretty easily.
  • Construction Materials – I mentioned drywall, and most older trailers do not have it. Many are outfitted with cheap wooden paneling that has absolutely nothing behind it. This can making hanging things on your walls difficult and the studs that you will have to use to hang heavier decorations may be too thin to support them.
  • Heating/Air Conditioning – A lot of the older homes are heated with oil or an oil/kerosene blend. This can get extremely expensive in the winter months especially if you live in a colder location. Central heat and air is a popular feature, just make sure both are in working order before you sign on the dotted line. I didn’t and found out by accident that my central air didn’t work. I was fortunate in that the guy that owns the park had it fixed the next morning at his expense. If that had been on my dollar, it would probably still be needing repair in 2015!
  • Moving the Trailer – If you buy any mobile home and it has to be moved, be aware that this is not an inexpensive prospect. It can literally run into the thousands to move a trailer from one location to another and moving it can cause expensive damage to the structure – especially the roof. If the trailer is what’s called a “double wide” or bigger, your move will cost even more because it has to be taken apart and the pieces have to be moved separately. The bigger the trailer is, the more it will cost to move. Also consider the cost of having the home hooked up to electric and water/sewer.
  • Financing – Most banks will not finance a loan for an older model mobile home. This is primarily because these homes do not appreciate in value – by the time you make your final payment, the home could be worth half the price you paid for it. This makes it difficult for the bank to recoup their money if you default on the loan. So be prepared to pay for your new “old” home up front.
  • Lot Rent – Whether you are buying or renting the mobile home, if it sits in a mobile home park, you will be paying the park a fee each month to rent the land on which it sits. Obviously, when you pay for the trailer, you won’t have any more payments to make, but the lot rent will continue as long as you live on the property. Also, in every mobile home park I’ve ever rented from, water, sewer and trash has been included in the lot rent, but check on that up-front.

 

Lessons Learned from Living in a Trailer Park

Almost every neighborhood these days has some kind of owner’s association but, in a trailer park it can get a little bit nerve wracking. This is not my first trailer park rodeo, so I figured I’d share a few things that folks may not know before moving into one.

  • Parking – Know where you and your visitors are allowed to park, and ask your neighbors who have unused parking spots if you may have your guests use them. Don’t just assume, because they can (and often will, just out of spite) have your friend’s cars towed.
  • Entrances – This may sound kind of comical, but I’m having some issues with it. Most trailer parks have their homes set up in a specific order. My home is on a corner lot and, for some reason, my front door is on the opposite side as everyone else’s in my row. While this may seem like a minor inconvenience, I’ve had the post office leave packages on my back porch. If I know to look for them, I will watch. If not, I could be in trouble. My AT&T modem sat out there for who knows how long, and I’ve had folks bring packages to the front door for me if they see them before I do.
  • Trash Removal – A lot of parks have very specific guidelines and how, when and what you can throw away. My park has a dumpster at the end of each row. All of our trash has to be bagged, which means I can’t clean out my baby sister’s car and throw the McDonald’s cup right in the dumpster.
  • Pets – Many trailer parks do allow pets, but some have breed and/or size guidelines. Also, some will not allow certain exotic pets like snakes and ferrets and some will require yearly proof of vaccinations and local licenses. Make sure you are clear before you even move in on whether or not your family pet will be allowed as well as any specific leash laws. Also, most parks demand that you carry a bag for your “dog dirt.” Nobody wants to step in that and it can smell really bad in warmer weather.
  • Personal Vehicles – If you allow your license and/or registration on your car to expire, many parks will demand that you either rectify that or remove the vehicle from their property. Also, some will not allow you to make repairs on your vehicle beyond a simple changing of a tire. Most will also not allow you to wash your car on the property, especially if your water is included with your lot rent.
  • Neighbors – This one is entirely subjective, but some folks in a trailer park can be real busy bodies. Though I’m over 40 and single with no kids, it’s almost like I feel eyes on me when I’m out roaming around on the property, and it’s probably not paranoia on my part. These folks watch EVERYTHING, just waiting for some juicy bit of gossip or something they can use to call the park manager or owner and “tell on me.” Though I plan to give them neither, this can be a real big issue, so watch yourself!

What Are The Best Water Filters On The Market Today?

5-Simple-Ways-to-Prevent-Pollution-at-Home2

A kitchen of any house is a special place where the aroma and delicious taste of food is created and wonderful family conversations take place over cooking food. Most food preparations require water and you do not want to pose any risk to your family by using contaminated water in the vital act of food preparation and of consuming plain water. To ensure that pure water goes into your food and tummies, you must employ filter taps. These are fitted with a filter cartridge that removes all contaminants such as debris and chemicals. Out of the many filter taps available in the market, you should choose the ones which have a reputable name in the market. This is because, the filtering capabilities of a non- branded tap cannot really be trusted. It would be a bit like trusting burst pipes in the kitchen to prevent your house from flooding.

One of the most trustworthy companies of kitchenware is Franke. The company has been in the market since 1911 and has been innovating on kitchen products consistently. Moreover, Franke‘s filter taps come with a 5 year warranty on valve mechanisms and a 1 year warranty on their coatings and finishings, generating valuable trust among customers.

Along with trust, the company also offers variety in the form of a diverse range of filter taps that come in different designs, heights and functionalities.While picking a uniquely designed tap is a matter of personal taste, you must know which kind of tap serves which function. Thus, let us see the range of differently functional Franke kitchen taps below:

Single-Flow Spout and Bi-Flow Spout : A Single-flow spout tap implies that the flow of only one channel of water can be adjusted by the use of one available lever while a bi-flow spout tap has two levers, with which flow of two channels of water can be adjusted. You must use the former in places where you can do without water of two different temperatures.

When building a new home, you will do well to consider the inclusions I have mentioned here in this article. Another thing to remember is to make sure you have an adequate building inspector on the job, as a backup to your builder. You need to have the peace of mind that you are being treated fairly and respectfully and the presence of an independent building inspector is going to make your home builder aware that you are on to his corner cutting tricks.

Triflow: If you need water in three different temperature qualities, namely, hot, cold and moderate, then you must make use of a triflow tap. You can use hot water for cooking while cold water can be used for making a drink.

Boiling Water: This kind of tap not only delivers hot and cold water, but also water that is super hot (ie water of 100 degree Celsius). Such hot water can be used in cooking and brewing tea quickly.

Spray Tap: You can either buy a stand alone pull out spray tap or a bi-flow spout tap with a spraying handle as well. This kind of tap can be used for washing vegetables and fruits with speed.

Thus, with a diverse range of variously functional taps, you can enjoy clean water in different ways.

Safety Precautions While Using Electric Heating Devices

When it comes to heating a house, electric heaters are mostly preferred as they are economical, convenient and are extremely good at heating up a small space. They are becoming very common these days as more and more households are moving towards these electric heating devices. Though, these electric heating devices are convenient way to warm up a house, but just like any other electrical appliance, electric heaters also require some maintenance. While using electric heating devices, it is essential to keep a few things in mind.

Keep the device away from electric shocks:

These heating devices can give an electric shock as they run on electricity so it is essential to keep these electric heating devices at a place, where there is no moisture. We should avoid these devices coming in contact with water or other forms of spilled liquid. We should never keep an electric heater at such place where there is a high probability of the heater coming in contact with moisture to avoid accidental electrical shocks.

The device should be avoided to come in contact with Fires:

If there is a circuit overload or any electric shortage, electric heaters can result in fires in the house. Clothes or other such flammable items can cause fires if coming within close proximity of the heater. It can cause problems as multiple electrical appliances run on the same circuit. In order to avoid circuit overloading, it is essential to make sure that we should not run multiple appliances at the same time. Electric heaters should be placed at such place where it cannot come in contact with any object that can easily catch fire.

Eliminate the risk of burns:

Sometimes due to continuously functioning of these devices, most of the parts can become very hot and coming in contact with these parts can result in serious burns and injuries. So you should make sure that clothes could not come in contact with these parts as they can catch fire if exposed to these parts, increasing the risk exponential. Especially small children and pets should be kept away from these heating devices as they would be unaware that they can be hurt or even end up seriously injured. While using these electric heating devices, it is advisable to monitor children and pets to avoid such kinds of injuries. It is essential to follow the operational procedures while using these electric heating devices as most of the devices have operational manual attached to it. So while using these devices it is advisable to follow the instructions and use the devices accordingly. Most of the devices have a feature of temperature control so we can easily set the temperature of electric heating devices according to our needs.

Apart from this, in order to prevent accidents caused by heaters, there should be an adequate distance between the heater and any potential source of combustion including furniture, curtains, anything made of paper or any flammable items. One important tip is while purchasing these electric heating systems you need to make sure that it must have safety certifications and energy star mark on it. Each electric heating device should meet all the courses of action and pass energy standards before being used in houses. They should be thoroughly tested and meet the often stringent requirements. You should avoid purchasing those items that don’t contain energy mark and don’t conform to standard because in this case you will be having no assurance that the build quality is adequate. Along with all these preventions, it is also important to choose a reliable supplier of these electric heating devices as choosing the correct heater along with the correct supplier will help lower your energy bills and reduce the environmental impact of your house.

Energy Saving Fund Pledges £150 million in Home Improvement Grants

The Energy Saving Fund has pledged a £150 million investment in home improvement grants over the next five years – providing 200,000 installations of boilers, roofing, double-glazing and solar panels with a total retail value of half a billion pounds.

The not-for-profit organisation which offers help and advice along with financial assistance to consumers planning home improvements outlined their half decade-long programme just a week after revealing they were expanding nationwide from their Cheshire-based HQ.

“The most important spin-off from this pledge is the jobs it will create,” said ESF trustee and founder Thomas Adams,” speaking from the organisation’s Widnes head office. “When I launched this project in 2008 my dream was to create employment. Now that dream is becoming a reality.”

ESF believes the new five year programme will create at least 1,000 new jobs across the home improvement sector. And the organisation has already asked independent sales training business, Pro-Sell, of Widnes, to provide them with 200 sales advisors to take their message to the consumer.

“ESF is now quite well known in the North where we have used our negotiating skills to make high quality energy saving home improvements available at affordable prices to the average family,” added Mr Adams.

“We have agreed deals and discounts with some of the biggest and best manufacturers and installers in the industry to ensure ESF customers can enjoy high quality home improvements at the very best rates. We’ve been doing this for six years and now we will see consumers right across the country enjoying the benefits ESF can bring.”

Trustee Alan Holloway from Winsford, Cheshire added:” We’ve been described as a 21st Century equivalent of the Co-operative movement, but we really are simply negotiating the best deals possible with the manufacturers and installers so that the consumer can enjoy the benefits of energy efficiency whether that be via a new boiler or double glazing for the windows in their homes.

“ESF has created a new stream of work for the home improvement sector which has ultimately led to the creation of new jobs. And that must be good news for everybody.”

Fuel Injection Cleaner — Injector Cleaning

Fuel injection cleaner, also known as injector cleaner, is a simple trick that can give you a lot of bang for your buck. You pour it in your gas tank when filling up at the gas station, and away it goes. Especially in California, where emissions tests happen often, having a peak performance vehicle is very important. Clean fuel injectors help ensure:

  1. Fuel Economy
  2. Emissions
  3. Peak Engine Performance

If that’s something you want as a car owner, consider using a fuel injection cleaner every couple of months.

 Fuel injection cleaner, also known as fuel injector cleaner helps clean dirty parts like this.

Dirty Fuel Injectors

When fuel injectors are dirty, they can’t deliver the correct spray required for combustion, and as a result, fuel economy and engine performance suffers. This, in the long run, can be costly or can even begin to cause symptoms:

  1. Rough Idle
  2. Misfiring
  3. Poor Fuel Economy

That’s why fuel injection cleaner is a must. The reason I recommend fuel injector cleaner is because it’s one of those simple things a person can do without having to replace any parts or any under the hood work. Normally in a tuneup, lots of things get replaced, things like spark plugs, distributor caps, belts, and fluids. But with fuel injectors, running an additive through a tank of gas every once in a while will keep them clean and running properly. It’s something you can do cheaply and without automotive knowhow. Just follow the instructions on the bottle.

How Fuel Injector Cleaner Works

Over time, all fuel injectors become clogged. This happens because the deposits come from the gasoline itself. Gasoline is a compound mixture of hydrocarbons, and includes waxy, heavy chemicals known as oilfins, which yield a lot of energy when burned. As long as a car is running, the fuel injectors and engine runs efficiently. The clogging occurs when the engine is shut off, and a process known as heat soak occurs. Residue of fuel in the injector nozzles begins to evaporate, and it leaves the oilfins behind, which don’t evaporate and some of which don’t get washed away, but instead get baked into hard varnish deposits, which ultimately will clog the injectors.

Newer injectors are more resistant than the old ones to this kind of clogging, and additives are added to gasoline to try to dissolve some of these buildups. But cars that make mostly short trips are still especially susceptible to fuel injection clogging, and every injector will ultimately become clogged over time. If the fuel injectors are never cleaned, as the car ages you’ll start to notice that your car shakes a bit while idling and eventually it will either stall or misfire, and all the while your fuel economy and engine performance will suffer. I was just in a car the other day that suffered from a very rough idle, and the driver had to keep a little pressure on the gas petal while stopped to keep the car from stalling. Fuel injector cleaner works by stripping away the clogging the builds up over time.

The Best Fuel Injector Cleaner

There are many different kinds of fuel injection cleaners, and the best fuel injection cleaner is one that might surprise you. It’s gasoline itself! Cheap gasoline is often lacking in the additives that breakdown clogging and, over the long haul, can cost you more money than it saves. That being said, there are also some very good brands of fuel injection cleaner out there. I like Red Line’s fuel system treatment the best. Red Line’s Fuel injection cleaner is a total fuel system cleaner and works really well.

Another great way to go is seafoam, which I’ve written a lot about as well. Seafoam can be added to your gas tank as well as your oil. Check out the link for more info. Some other great injector cleaner is STP injection cleaner. It’s reported to have the highest concentration of cleaning agents out of any fuel system cleaner. It’s good for really tough clogs, but I still prefer Redline fuel system cleaner for boosting overall fuel economy. The best tip for keeping your injectors clean is to not buy cheap gas, but this is only a preventative measure. My guess is that for people reading this article, it’s because your fuel injectors are already partially clogged and are causing problems to your engine performance. If that’s the case, then you still have quite a few options. There are many cheap fuel injection cleaners that you can add to your gasoline which will act like drano on a sink pipe and will dissolve many of the clogs in your injectors. One such product is listed to the right. When used semi-regularly (once every few months) it will keep your injectors nice and clean.

But this may not be enough for some engines. Older engines already experiencing heavy problems may need a bigger hand. For this, you may actually need a fuel injection cleaner kit that will allow you to dismantle the fuel injection system and give it a nice clean. However, this is not always possible and some fuel injectors are delicate. Before trying this, I would definitely recommend running a bottle of fuel injection cleaner additive or two through a tank of gas and see if that helps at all. It’s cheap and effective.

Three Reasons New Home Builders Are For You

For most people, a house is the most expensive thing that they will ever buy. Furthermore, the average buyer of a residence will live in that place for nearly a decade. With so much time and money going into one structure, it goes without saying that the owners should love the structure. While renovations and remodeling can make a residence more appealing, the only true way to make it perfect is to construct it from the ground up. New home builders can work with buyers to ensure that everything is made exactly to their specifications. The only thing that will limit what can go into the house is the owner’s imagination.

Size

In 1973, the average house in the United States was just under 1,700 square feet. Today, that number has increased to nearly 2,700 square feet. In short, older residences are generally going to be smaller than what modern buyers want and expect. And since no two families are the same, you can work with new home builders to create a home that is exactly the right size for your current or future family.

Amenities

A recent poll of contractors showed that the additions most requested by house hunters are a separate laundry room, an extra large pantry, wireless security system, security lights, and garage storage. Since contractors know these are popular amenities, they are putting them into their plans for new residences. Rather than buy an old structure and remodel it to add everything you need, it can be cheaper and more efficient to simply build a residence designed with those specific amenities in mind. Furthermore, new home builders craft their designs around modern technology, such as Internet and satellite television. This reduces the unsightly cords and satellite dishes that you will see in some older residences.

Peace of Mind

As we discussed above, buying a house is a huge investment of time and money. In many cases, buyers may use all or much of their savings. This can be an issue if maintenance problems arise in the purchase. Having to pay $5,000 to the plumber, or $10,000 to the electrician could be difficult for many people after purchasing a house. With new home builders, the buyer can be confident that not only is all the material used new, but much of it will be covered under warranty as well. In most cases, the owner will get years, if not decades, of use before any maintenance, beyond basic upkeep, is required. So if you are the type of buyer that is sinking all or most of your savings into buying a residence, you should strongly consider a new structure rather than an old one.

In conclusion, new home builders can give buyers exactly what they want. Nearly every man, woman, and child has thought about what their dream house would look like. Having a home built with your input is the best way to realize this dream.