Five Common Mistakes Homeowners Make When Cleaning Their Windows

As spring approaches and the days get brighter, it’s time to make sure that your windows are clean and sparkling inside and out. However, just having the desire for clean windows doesn’t make it happen. Unfortunately, there are a number of common mistakes that homeowners make when cleaning their windows. Being aware of these can help you avoid making them.

1. Cleaning the outside of the window first. It might seem that the outside of your windows would be the dirtiest. After all, that is the part of the window that’s exposed to the wind, rain and snow. However, in most cases, the inside of the windows actually have the most dirt and grime on them. Children and pets press their noses and hands/paws against the glass. Plus, inside windows aren’t being rinsed by rain water as the outside panes are.

2. Using the wrong tools (or using them incorrectly.) Many commercial window washing companies use scrapers to remove any debris that is stuck to the window before cleaning it. However, a dull blade can actually scratch your window. So can using the scraper in a back-and-forth motion (and not moving it in a single direction.) Make sure that you know how to best use all of your tools before you start your window washing project.

3. Washing windows on a dreary or foggy day. The weather makes a big difference in how clean you get your windows. It’s best to wait until the sun is shining brightly to avoid leaving dirty spots or streaks.

4. Using harsh cleansers. The best products for cleaning windows are the most natural ones. Most windows can be cleaned efficiently with a mixture of vinegar and water. This not only leaves your windows sparkling, but keeps harsh chemicals away from your kids, your pets and the local landfill.

5. Failing to dust the window frames and sills before you wash the windows. Make sure that you get all of the dust and debris off of the window frame before you start washing the windows. Otherwise, that dust can stick to the moist window and cause your window to be dirty again before you’re even finished washing it.

Of course, one good way to make sure that you avoid all of the potential mistakes when washing your windows is to hire a professional window cleaning firm like White Shark Window Cleaning Toronto. Some companies will even take care of other exterior maintenance projects, like cleaning your eaves and gutters, while they are onsite.

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2 Furniture Trends To Incorporate Into Your Decor

The way that you decorate your home says so much about who you are.  That’s why, when you’re ready to make a different statement, one of the best ways to do it is by changing your furniture.  If you’re looking to change up the look and feel of your home, you may feel a bit stuck because you don’t want to create the same ambiance that you’ve had in the past.  When you’re ready to switch things up, use this information to learn more about some hot trends that you can incorporate into your decor.

Bring Outside Furniture Indoors

Although you may have never thought about it, bringing outside furniture indoors is a very cool trend that you may enjoy.  Decorating the interior portions of your home with furniture that would typically be relegated to the patio or front porch is a great way to show your avant garde sense of style, and is sure to become a talking point amongst your guests.

To highlight the outdoor theme even more, considering using incandescent tiki torches instead of lamps.  This will really make your living or family rooms come to life.  Combine this with a porch swing for a sofa and a dining room table that has an umbrella, and you are sure to “wow” your friends.

Punch Up Your Leather With A Metallic Sheen

While leather has long been a staple in interior design, it is receiving new life by being punched up with a metallic sheen.  Coating leather in a metallic sheen makes it the centerpiece of any room, and works wonders with nearly any color of leather.

With metallic leather, you don’t have to be outlandish with your decor at all.  A simple, deep brown leather couch that has a gold, metallic sheen across the surface will look good in nearly any room in the house.  Let the sofa shine even more by making sure that the other pieces in the room aren’t too scene-stealing, such as a regular coffee table and some book shelves.  This makes the chair seem even more inviting because of the contrast between the ordinary pieces, and the extraordinary metallic sheen.

Breathing new life into your home with fresh trends is a great way to keep your home modern and current.  Incorporate one or both of these decorating trends into your home so you can enjoy a wonderfully appointed abode that you can’t wait to get home to. Click here to learn more about furniture options.

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3 Ways To Heat Your Fishing Cabin

If you own a fishing cabin and need to heat it, then this article will help you choose between the different heating alternatives. For a small building like a cabin, you can get away with using a non-boiler heating system. However, you do need to have some type of heat source. Even during the summer and spring it can get chilly at night.

Electric Space Heaters

These are easy to use and clean. All you need are electrical outlets. The advantage of using this as opposed to the heating systems based on wood or pellets is that you don’t have to clean them. Also, you can place them in multiple rooms. If you only want heat in the bedroom at night, then you can turn off the space heaters in the living room.

However, they can be expensive depending on what you pay for electricity. Also, if your cabin is off the grid, you will need to hook up a generator. That makes everything more complicated. A small generator will be noisy, and you will have to make sure to bring gas to fuel it. A large generator will be very expensive to hook up.

A Wood Burning Stove

This is one of the classic ways to heat a cabin. They run off of firewood. If your cabin is in the woods, you can probably scavenge enough wood to heat the place if you’re only staying for a couple of days. So, once you spend money for the initial installation, they are very inexpensive to run.

The downside is that you will have to clean out ash and also find firewood. If you happen to arrive at the cabin and it’s pouring rain, even if the next day is dry and perfect for fishing, the firewood won’t be burnable. If you have a wood-burning stove, you will need a storage area to keep fuel dry.

Pellet Stove

A great alternative to the wood burning stove is the pellet stove. These stoves run on small pellets which you can buy at most home improvement stores. The pellets can be stored in a large plastic bin inside or outside your cabin.

One big advantage to using a pellet stove is that you don’t have to worry about looking for wood around your cabin. Your supply of pellets will always be dry and clean in a large storage bin. Compare this to firewood, which might be covered in insects, mold, and dirt. For more information about the benefits of pellet stoves, visit local suppliers or check out the site.

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Tips For Buying New Kitchen Cabinets At An Affordable Price

Picking out the right kitchen cabinets is a big decision, even more so if you have a floor plan that allows your kitchen to be seen from other rooms in your home. There are an endless number of choices to mix and match in cabinet styles, colors, and hardware. All this variety leads to a wide price range when you get ready to buy. If you have a tight budget to work with, you can use these tips to get new kitchen cabinets for the most economical price.

Stock Cabinets Are More Affordable Than Custom

When you need to save money, then buying stock cabinets is the way to go. These are already made and ready to buy. You might be able to have them delivered the same day you shop. Even if you have to order them, the only delay is in the shipping time since the cabinets are in stock and ready to ship.

The other alternative is to buy custom cabinets. While custom cabinets are nice if you want to create a dream kitchen made to your specifications, you’ll have to pay a lot more since custom cabinets are individually made for you by a craftsman. Plus, it will take a long time for the cabinets to be hand made and ready to install.

Consider Ready-To-Assemble Cabinets

While it’s usually necessary to have stock or custom cabinets installed by a professional contractor unless you have experience yourself, you might be able to handle ready-to-assemble cabinets. These cabinets come in pieces that you put together along with installation instructions. You can buy them off the shelf at a home improvement store. You won’t have a much selection in color and wood types, but you will save some money on material supplies. If you have DIY skills or have a friend who does, you can install the cabinets yourself and save on installation costs too.

Compare Cost Of Wood

Even stock cabinets come in a variety of price ranges because they can be made from different kinds of wood. Solid wood cabinets are the most expensive. More economical cabinets are made from scrap wood bonded with resin and covered with laminate. They have an appearance very similar to wood, so they are a good choice when you need to save money. The way the wood is joined together affects the cost too. Dovetail joints are a sign of sturdy construction, but they may affect the cost. Less expensive cabinets and drawers may be held together with glue, staples, or screws.

Keep in mind, you don’t want to spend less money upfront on cabinets only to have them fall apart in a couple of years. It is worth buying as much quality as you can afford. For the best quality, look for cabinets with a certification seal from the Kitchen Cabinets Manufacturers Association. To earn this seal, the cabinets have to withstand various tests that replicate household conditions such as temperature and humidity fluctuations, daily use, and exposure to various foods and cleaning supplies.

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Taking A Closer Look At The Benefits Of Vertical Blinds

When you start looking at window treatment options for your home, which type of blinds you should choose will definitely be one thing that comes up. While you may be tempted to just grab the inexpensive and traditional horizontal plastic blinds at the local retail or home store, you should take a few minutes to fully understand what the benefits of other choices are.

This is especially true with vertical blinds. While vertical blinds in general can be a little higher-priced, they are well worth the added expense if you take a look at some of the benefits they can provide:

1. Longer Life Span – If you walk up to a window with vertical blinds to quickly peek out, if you are like most people, you will pull down on one of the slats to get a quick view. Over time, this compromises the structure of the blind slats and eventually, they will brake. Vertical blinds can simply be pushed slightly to the side if you are in a hurry. Their free-hanging position means that doing this will not require any bending, which means your vertical blinds will likely outlast any horizontal blinds you have. 

2. Full Window Views – When you open a set of vertical blinds by turning them straight facing, you will hardly even notice that they are there. There will be no hardware, strings, or anything else in the way of the view you have from your window. 

3. Less Cleaning – Horizontal slats will naturally collect more dust in the air because they provide a flat even surface for the debris to land and stay. Vertical blinds, on the other hand, will be less likely to become coated with dust particles because of their upright design. 

4. More Privacy – Vertical blinds have no strings and pulleys running through them on either side to make opening and closing possible like horizontal styles. Therefore, when you close vertical blonds all the way, they fold against each other without leaving tiny gaps and holes that could pose a risk to your privacy. 

5. Sun-Shielding Capabilities - Because vertical blinds close so tightly together, they tend to block out more sunlight and head than those that are horizontal in design. Therefore, with the right set of vertical blinds on all of your windows, you could see a drastic reduction in UV rays heating up your living space. 

When you take a moment to look at all of the benefits that you and your home could reap from the right vertical blinds, it is easy to see why choosing blinds may provoke you to think a little harder and investigate more about your choices. If you would like to know more about how vertical blinds could be a better choice, talk to a sales representative from a window blinds company for more information. 

Contact a company such as Graham’s & Son Interiors curtains to learn more.

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Easy Window Update: Transform Boring Rooms With Grommet-Topped Curtain Panels

Even if you love your home decor, it will start to bore you in time. Fortunately, it only takes a simple change to update any style of room and also lift your spirits. One of the simplest ways to instantly transform a room is to change out your rod pocket drapery with grommet-topped curtain panels. Here’s why:

Grommet-topped curtain panels give you more options.

These curtain panels are unlike any other style of window covering. With fat grommets that resemble something you might see holding laces in a giant’s shoe, these curtains aren’t hung on curtain rods as much as they’re speared by them. This style of running the rod through the grommets rather than using hooks or rings gives you some incredibly creative options. Swords, tree branches, and metal pipes can be used as curtain rods. Anything long and slender can be used as a curtain rod with a grommet-topped panel, as long as it fits through the grommets and fastens on each end to wall brackets. Golf clubs, ski poles, and deep-sea fishing rods could soon outnumber curtain rods used for drapery in man caves everywhere.

New grommet-topped curtains are indoor/outdoor.

The most awesome new grommet-topped curtain panels are made of indoor/outdoor fabric designed to stand up to weather and the sun’s rays. These panels are ideal for sliding glass doors because of their color-fastness. They’re also great for rooms where kids and pets roam. If you have an outdoor kitchen, patio, or gazebo, these panels can easily be hung to create privacy and define entertainment zones. Because these panels are so sturdy, they would even work as privacy screens when camping or out at the pool.

The color and pattern selections are inspiring.

Grommet-topped panels are stretching the limits when it comes to color. If you’ve been living an understated life in greys or beiges, you might love the blazing buttercup and dazzling turquoise curtains that will make any window pop. There are bold striped designs, checked patterns, and delicate floral prints, too. If you want a more serene update, there are stately and low-key patterns that give your home a completely modern look without being showy or obvious about it. If you want blackout curtains to block the sun, satin curtains to make you feel pampered, or flocked panels for texture’s sake, grommet-topped panels have your windows covered.

For more information about window coverings, contact Sheila’s Drapery or a similar company.

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Cool New Trends In High-End Kitchen Countertops

There are some new and refreshing products hitting the home improvement market for those buyers seeking distinctive countertops for the kitchen. While granite remains the benchmark in high-end countertops, some of the emerging styles and materials may make shoppers reconsider available buying options.

Some of the cool new products hitting the consumer market include:

Quartz

Quartz counters are clever, man-made features that are found in a wide range of colors and patterns. Engineered quartz is easy-to-clean, non-toxic, and non-allergenic, making it a convenient and safe option for the kitchen. The vast range of color and style options are making it a popular alternative to natural stone surfaces.

Nanotech

Nanotech is a unique, new countertop material that is admired for its fingerprint-free, resilient surface. This contemporary countertop has a matte finish that is smooth to the touch and easy to keep clean.

Onyx

Onyx counters are a cool, sleek detail that will enhance any kitchen. These are more rare than traditional granite, but offer many of the same advantages of slab-stone surfaces. Onyx is distinctive, and the stone often has a swirling pattern or unique marbling that will distinguish it from all others.

Wood

There are a lot of exciting new wood countertops found in home improvement venues, and bamboo is one of the most popular choices. Wood offers a vintage flavor, giving a nod to the old butcher-block style of counter, while currently offered in contemporary finishes that are stain and scratch resistant.

Tempered glass

Glass countertops are chic and durable, the latest in home design style trends. These smooth, easy-to-clean surfaces are available in a wide range of colors, at prices that rival the cost of high-end stone variations.

Concrete

Concrete is currently revered as being a versatile and eco-friendly choice for kitchen countertops, and it offers buyers the opportunity to make their countertop stand out with some design options. For instance, homeowners can add glass or aggregate to the concrete before it is molded to add glimmer or visual interest. Furthermore, the cost of concrete can be an alluring sell-point.

Soapstone

Oddly enough, soapstone counters are often found in high-school chemistry labs due to their inherent resilience and durability. These make a long-lasting choice for a kitchen, offering a smooth surface, similar to a bar of soap, that will stand up to high heat. Soapstone is typically offered in shades of gray, from a light color to a dark charcoal with a greenish tint.

A fresh, new countertop can truly transform the kitchen, enhancing your entire home. The current options and price-points make it a viable renovation project for any homeowner, at any budget. Consider these unique options when shopping for your kitchen countertop, and give your space a cool, contemporary makeover.  

To learn more, contact a company like Edmonton Venato Stone Inc

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