Category Archives: Home Improvement

Picking the Right Tile Cleaning Service For Your Home

Most people are under the impression that building a house is a hard job but the truth is that maintaining a clean house is harder than building one. Tiles are often hard to clean and most of the products in the market don’t remove stains from tiles as well as they should. Cleaning services help people remove stubborn stains from them and the trained technicians also provide home owners with tips so that they can keep their tiles clean. This article will help you understand which cleaning service is right for your home.

Cleanings services like tile removal Scottsdale that are offered by cleaning companies include cleaning of marble floors, cleaning of polished ceramic tiles, cleaning of unpolished ceramic tiles, cleaning of brick tiles and cleaning of grout. Depending on their type you have the technician may use mild acids to powerful acids to clean your tiles. Since some of them cannot be cleaned with acids the technician will use alternate materials to clean these tiles.

The type of damage done to the tiles will also determine which material is used to clean the tiles. Basic cleaning services remove stains that have not affected the floor drastically but extensive cleaning services remove stains that cannot be removed without otherwise replacing the tile.Those having mildew and mold damage are often cleaned using powerful materials since mold and mildew spores are hard to kill.

Tile sealing services are also offered by many repair companies. This service consists of using sealants to repair leaky floors. The type of sealant used will depend on the type of floor you have. For instance granite floors require a different sealant than grout floors and the cost for sealing granite floors is more than the cost for sealing grout floors.

Repair services are meant for people who have tiles that are damaged or badly stained. These services are more extensive than regular cleaning and strong materials are used to repair them. Some of the types of tile repairing services include replacement of broken tiles, removal of water stains, replacement of wall boards and replacement of chipped tiles. Some cleaners also repair tiles that have been discolored due to regular wear and tear.

The cleaning service you choose will depend primarily on the type of tiles you have since there are specific cleaning methods for each type of tile. After they have been cleaned the technician will give you tips so that you can keep your tiles clean till when the next cleaning is due.

The price charged for such cleaning services is generally calculated per foot of tile. The type of tile and the type of cleaning or repair method chosen will also affect the total cost. Many tile cleaners offer discounts to customers who opt for more than 2 services and these companies also provide periodic discounts and promotions.

Heating Repair Service Tips for New Technicians

The HVAC service tips in this article specifically cover air conditioning and refrigeration equipment since that’s mostly what I’ve worked on, but I think the principles and concepts will apply to heating equipment, too.

These are some general HVAC service techniques I’ve picked up over the years, and I’ve written this article hoping these tips will help technicians who are just starting out in our trade. but if you have any trouble you can hiring professional heating repair service like heating repair Scottsdale

Start out by getting focused.
I think almost everyone would agree that sharp, clear mental focus improves HVAC service and troubleshooting efficiency, and I think that the types of questions you ask yourself while troubleshooting can affect your mental focus.

Open-ended questions like “Why isn’t this thing running?” and “I wonder what the problem is?” don’t do much to switch on the analytical power of the mind.

They’re too general, and allow open-ended and unfocused answers like “Something’s broken.”

On the other hand, if you start out your HVAC service calls by asking a question like “Exactly what kind of equipment is it, and what is it supposed to do?” your mind will automatically start focusing on how the machinery is put together, and it will start trying to build a mental picture of how the equipment is supposed to run when it’s operating normally.

The next two questions to ask yourself on HVAC service and troubleshooting jobs would be:

1. “What is this unit supposed to be doing that it isn’t doing, and are there any components not operating when they’re supposed to, or operating incorrectly?” and

2. “What is this unit doing that it isn’t supposed to be doing, and are there any components operating when they’re not supposed to, or operating incorrectly?”

These questions will automatically start narrowing the focus of your mental picture from a “wide-angle” general picture of the equipment to “close-up” views of the different sections of the machinery, and the individual components in those sections.

While you’re answering these questions and building these mental pictures of the equipment, you’ll start opening the panels to see what components are inside and start evaluating the condition of those components.

While you’re inspecting the components you should start asking yourself even more tightly focused questions like “What is this?”, “What does it do?”, “When is it supposed to run?”, and “Should it be energized and running right now?”

The schematics in the equipment, the owner’s manual, and factory HVAC service manuals will help you identify the components and figure out how they’re supposed to work. And it’s always a good idea to keep a good HVAC book in your service truck for reference.

Technicians with a lot of HVAC service experience go through the process of answering these questions without even thinking about them, but for newer techs on the job, taking a few seconds to consciously ask yourselves these questions is a good alternative to asking “Where should I start troubleshooting this equipment?”

When you open the panels you might find oil from a leak; broken piping; wires that are burned or chewed to pieces by a rat; a dead snake wound around a fan or blower shaft; a lizard or insect fried across contactor contacts; or coils and filters that are totally plugged with dirt.

You never know what you might find, and sometimes you’ll even get lucky and the problem will seem to pop right out at you as soon as you open a panel.

HVAC service call tips they might not have covered in school.
If you use your imagination, you might get a few laughs out of this section, because I, and guys I’ve worked with, learned some of these lessons the hard way, if you know what I mean.

First, at the start of every HVAC service call, make sure you’re headed to the correct customer and address.

When you arrive, verify that you’re at the correct customer and address before you start working on the equipment.

If you’re working on a roof or in a machine room and there are multiple remote units, make absolutely sure you’re working on the right one.

You might find a condensing unit with a problem, but it might be something the owner doesn’t need repaired immediately, and your service call might be for another unit.

If you go on an HVAC service call that’s only supposed to be for scheduled maintenance or preventive maintenance, and the equipment isn’t running when you arrive, have the customer turn it on, and make sure it runs normally before you touch it.

When you troubleshoot a unit that’s failed and isn’t running, personally make sure that the thermostat, or main control switch, is in the “on” position and set to a temperature and/or cycle setting that will turn the unit on.

Don’t take the customer’s word for it; visually verify it yourself.

Then verify that the breakers and disconnects are all on, and that all equipment has the correct power supply.

After a maintenance call, before you drive away, make sure the breakers and disconnects are on and that the unit will run after you’ve left the site.

If you’re on an HVAC service call for a unit that isn’t running; if you suspect the system has a leak, verify that there’s pressure in the system before you start using your soap solution, halide torch, electronic “sniffer,” or ultrasonic leak detector.

If you’ve recovered the refrigerant from a system, and are getting ready to do some brazing, pressurize the system to atmospheric pressure with nitrogen before sweating off any old parts.

A technician checks a condensing unit for a customer. (Photo courtesy of Tri-City Refrigeration.)What do I do when I’m on an HVAC service call and I start feeling stumped?

Every once in a while I’ll be on a roof or in a machine room troubleshooting a piece of equipment, and I’ll get to a point where I’m scratching my head and asking myself questions like “What the heck is wrong with this thing?”

When that happens, I ask myself “What would Johnny do if he were here?”

Johnny’s a friend that I often worked with at a previous job, and he’s the technician who taught me how to work on chillers.

He’s probably the best HVAC troubleshooter I’ve ever known, and I’ve found that when I ask myself “What would Johnny do if he were here working on the equipment?”, I start feeling calmer, and I’ll notice something about the machinery or schematic that I know he’d want to check out.

Whatever it was that I noticed, I’ll check it whether I did it already or not; and even if it turns out not to be the source of the trouble, the confusion seems to clear away, and the rest of the service call always seems to feel easier.

If you’ve worked with an HVAC service technician who’s a great troubleshooter, next time you feel stumped, ask yourself “What would he do if he were here?”

What operating characteristics do we look for on HVAC service calls?
Once you’ve started opening the panels and inspecting the equipment, what is it that’s going to tell you how the unit is supposed to run?

For basic air conditioning, reach in, and walk in refrigeration equipment, the wiring diagrams on the equipment, the owner’s manuals, and the installation/start up manuals provide good information about how the machinery should run.

For ice machines, ice cream machines, transport refrigeration, and other complicated equipment like chillers, if you want to be efficient on the job, get the service manuals.

How will you know what pressures or temperatures to expect?

Our System Evaluation Manual at http://hvacr-resource.com/System_Evaluation_Manual.html provides guidance on evaluating operating pressures, temperatures, superheat, and subcooling on air conditioning and refrigeration equipment, and there’s also a cycle diagram you might find useful.

Check out our Chiller Evaluation Manual at http://hvacr-resource.com for similar information about chillers.

Once again, for ice machines, ice cream machines, transport refrigeration, and other specialty equipment, the best way to troubleshoot is with the factory HVAC service manuals.

Tracing out complicated wiring diagrams.
When I have an HVAC service call on a piece of complicated equipment that I’m not familiar with, and I’m starting the process of tracing through the electrical schematics, if they’re not drawn in a way that takes me straight to the control I think I need to find, I’ll go ahead and pick a couple of lines out of the schematic (which ones don’t matter), relax, and identify and locate everything on those lines just to start getting familiar with how the drawings are organized.

I’ve found that after I trace out these first two circuits, the rest of the troubleshooting procedure seems a lot easier.

A lot of times, while I’m tracing out the first two circuits, I’ll find the circuit I was looking for in the first place, so I’ll go ahead and start tracing it to the control I originally wanted to check.

Try this yourself, and see if it helps.

Electrical troubleshooting is an evaluation of four basic things:
1. Power quality;

2. Conductors;

3. Switch contacts; and

4. Loads.

Power quality means the correct voltage and frequency for the equipment.

The conductors, of course, are the wires.

The switch contacts include every switching device in the unit: line voltage and low voltage, manual and automatic, from the breakers to the disconnect, through the thermostat, safeties, contactor auxiliaries, compressor overloads, start relays, etc.

A load is anything in the unit that uses electricity to do something: the transformers are loads; the control relay coils are loads; the fans are loads; the compressors are loads; the solenoids are loads; the water pumps are loads; etc.

Loads are controlled by switch contacts.

The job of switch contacts is to control loads.

For example:

 

  • The compressor is a line voltage load,
  • Controlled by a set of contactor contacts,
  • Which are pulled in by the contactor coil which is itself a load,
  • Which is controlled by a series of switch contacts that might include the thermostat, low and high pressure safeties, an oil safety switch, a time delay relay, etc.,
  • And these switches are probably in a low voltage circuit supplied by a step down transformer, which is itself another line voltage load.So the basic electrical troubleshooting procedure on HVAC service calls is:
  • If a load is not energized, check at its terminals for correct voltage.
  • If the correct voltage is being supplied but the load isn’t energized, or isn’t working properly, it has failed.
  • Otherwise, if the correct voltage is not being supplied to the terminals of the load, trace through its control circuit to find an open conductor or set of contacts.
  • If you find an open conductor, repair it.
  • If you find an open set of switch contacts, determine why they’re still open and take the appropriate corrective action.Repeat this procedure until all the controls are satisfied and the necessary loads are energized for normal operation.

    And don’t forget to start by making sure of the following:

  • The thermostat, or main control switch, is “on”, and set to a temperature and/or cycle setting that will turn the unit on.
  • The breakers and disconnects are all on, and all equipment has the correct power supply.

 

The Good Idea For Roof Replacement

A roof is one of the most important parts of your home. Without it, your home simply isn’t functional. So even a roof with just a small leak can create serious problems in your house. Making repairs through the seasons can get you by, but eventually you have to face down that very daunting process: roof replacement.

If you are thinking about replacing your roof, you will need like roof replacement Phoenix to take several factors into account. Your primary consideration should be the type of roof material in question. Some common materials used are slate, copper, wood shake and asphalt shingles. Each type of material is unique and will require distinct approaches.

Different roof materials can also have different solutions. If you have an asphalt shingle roof, you may not have to take down the underlying roofing material. You can just have a second layer of shingles put on top of the first. This a great way to save money because it will decrease your labor and materials costs.

On the other hand, it may be far more economical to repair certain roof types. Slate roofs add a lot of character to a house and are an attractive feature. A good slate roof can last more than 200 years. But slate is often very expensive to replace. An entire roof can easily cost thousands of dollars. It may make sense to make repairs or even replace the roof with less expensive materials.

Copper is another material that can be expensive to replace but has a beautiful, distinctive look. A copper roof will often develop an eye-pleasing patina over time that can add to the value of your home. Copper can last even longer than slate.

Whatever type of roof you have or want, your primary goal should be to hire a qualified professional. Unless you have extensive experience in the roofing business, it is best to leave such matters to someone who knows how to do more than just climb a ladder and handle a nail gun. Crafting a roof that will keep your family safe and dry requires skilled labor.

Look for companies that specialize in roofing. Any good company should be able to provide you with a detailed list of how long the job will take as well as how much it will cost you. The company should assure you that it follows all safety laws and has trained laborers who are fully insured in case of an accident.

With the right planning and the right company, replacing your roof can be a painless process that will add years, stability, and curb appeal to your home.

Tips How to Hiring an Air Conditioning Repair Specialist

Most people can agree on one thing during summer in glendale, TX: reliable air conditioning is a must. When you’re in need of air conditioner replacement or repair, knowing which contractor  like ac repair glendale can be confusing when you have several options. Not all HVAC businesses are created equal and by following the tips below, you can make sure you hire the best service available

License and Certifications

Make sure the company has a Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation Mechanical License. Also check and see if they employ NATE and National Comfort Institute’s Air Balancing and HVAC System Performance Certified technicians. Typically you can see their licenses and certifications on their website, but you can also ask a company representative directly.

Professional Demeanor

Note their customer service when you contact them. Are you put in a phone tree or do they answer the phone directly and in house. How do they speak to their potential clients? Are they courteous when answering questions and providing price quotes? Do they return messages in a timely, professional manner? First impressions matter and the way the contractor handles your communication can be a good indicator of how they will handle the project.

Company Policies and Guarantees

When it’s your time and money on the line, the fine print matters. You want to hire an honest company that values the satisfaction of its customers. Ask about their policies to see if they value quality work over simply making the sale. Do they offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee? What is their warranty and policies if your new HVAC unit should break down? How long has the company been around? Do their prices seem fair for the materials and labor needed to complete the job? Ask for references of customers that had problems and call them to see how they were resolved.

Insurance

As a homeowner, probably the most important insurance coverage a contractor can have is Workers Compensation. If anyone is hurt while performing work in your home you are liable unless your contractor has adequate coverage.

The recommended minimum insurance coverage is a General Liability Aggregate of $1,000,000 and Workers Compensation of $1,000,000.

Air Conditioning servicing and installation is a hazardous task. Make sure your contractor has insurance so you are covered and don’t hesitate to ask for proof.

Professional Affiliations and Recommendations

Before choosing a heating and air conditioning company, first check to see if they are members the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and have at least an A rating. You can find the company’s profile on the BBB’s website.

Being members of the local, state and national Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) association is a big plus.

Another way to get valuable information regarding the company’s reputation is to read past client reviews on the company’s Google, Yelp, Customer Lobby, and social media pages. On Yelp look at hidden comments as well, they are not as transparent as other sites. You can read about previous customer’s experiences with the contractors and why they would/would not recommend hiring them. Also ask for recommendations directly and call their past customers.

Availability

Obviously, if you need a job done, it’s important that your schedule lines up with the contractor’s. It is frustrating whenever your air conditioning unit breaks down but especially in 100-degree heat. Find a contractor that offers same day 24/7 emergency service at regular rates. But if it is the first heat wave of the season same day service may be impossible. Be upfront about the issue you’re having and see what their availability looks like.

A better basement that you must have it

unduhan (21)The primary reason homeowner finish their basement is to create extra usable space in their home. If you go through all the trouble remodeling and cleaning up your lower level, then it only makes sense you had want to make it more livable and functional.

Building a better basement means something different to everyone, but there are a few proven ways that most would agree are beneficial to enhancing the appearance andincreasing the value. If you aren’t in a position to implement all the changes below, pick a few ideas to start working on and build upon each update over time. Alright, let’s get to work!

 

1. Neutral or Pastel Paint

The basement, or lower-level, is usually the darkest place in the home. The obvious reason you want to choose neutral or light pastel paint is to brighten up and illuminate the space. Our interior house painting cost guide will help you prepare for the average expense.

I suggest going with lighter paint, even if you’re someone who likes it dark for watching movies or relaxing. There’ll be times you’ll want the space to be light, such as when you’re entertaining, cleaning or reading in the daytime. If you’re someone who prefers dark features, you should work them in by installing dark cabinets, countertops or carpet, but keep the walls neutral.

2. Inviting Décor

A basement is the perfect place to cozy up by yourself or with the family. Not only will neutral paint help your cause, but décor is also a budget-friendly and simple way create a warm and inviting setting. Colors, materials, textures and designs all play a role in how your style comes together.

Even though you’re in the basement, you still need to pay attention to the details and attend to any dead space. Design your lower-level as a continuation of what you already have going in your home, or instead make it a fun space that’s different, themed and personalized with its own unique flair.

 

3. Focus on Functionality

Don’t assume your basement is just for lounging around. Step back and brainstorm how to make your basement more functional and livable when you’re not using it to snooze on a Sunday afternoon. For example, use the space as a guest bedroom or play area, orinstall a home theater or bar and lounge area.

Section off the space into different working parts if you have a big enough basement. Those of you who are working with smaller square footage should prioritize what functions to implement based on your current lifestyle and what makes most sense for your family.

 

4. Strategic Lighting

Many homeowners assume that because they’re decorating a basement, which tends to be dark by nature, they shouldn’t have to worry about lighting. This is opposite of what you should be thinking when you’re working on improving your basement. Lighting is key to setting the mood and making the room more functional.

Installing a basement window is well worth the little time and money it’ll take to add one. In fact, regulations require all basement bedrooms to have an egress window in case of a fire. As far as artificial lighting goes, I suggest having lamps placed strategically throughout the space and installing recessed lightingon a dimmer switch. You won’t regret having options when it comes to lower-level lighting.

Stop Smoke Alarm From Beeping Is Easy Step

images (29)There is nothing worse than a smoke detector that won’t stop beeping. Sadly, when a fire alarm goes haywire, it makes a very irritating noise. Then, let’s know and learn more to stop the alarm.

Even though there are plenty ofreasons your smoke alarm is beeping, there are a handful of easy solutions to finally shut off that very annoying noise. If your smoke detector keeps beeping, try the following tactics below (before your head explodes!).

1. Reset the Smoke Detector

Just like a computer, before you buy new batteries or a whole new computer, the good old reset is always a good option. However, resetting smoke detectors is a bit more complicated. To reset your fire alarm:

  1. Turn off the power to the smoke detector at your circuit breaker.
  2. Remove the detector from its mounting bracket and unplug the power supply.
  3. Remove the battery from the smoke detector.
  4. With the battery removed, press and hold the test button for 15-20 seconds.
  5. Replace the new battery in the detector and plug in the power supply.
  6. Restore power to the circuit breaker.
  7. Reattach the breaker to mounting bracket.

 

2. Change the Batteries

More often than not, changing the batteries will eliminate that annoying sound coming from your smoke detector. You should change the batteries in your smoke detector every six months. If it has been longer, the likely cause of that irritating beeping are your batteries.

Before you remove the old battery, note the charge and how it is placed. Replacing the faulty battery with a battery of a different charge or placing the new battery into the slot incorrectly will not stop the beeping. Essentially, just copy what was already in the smoke detector.

3. Clear Any Dust

Smoke alarms need to be free of any dust or debris to work correctly. Sadly, if cobwebs, spiders or any other intrusion made its way into the smoke detector, it’s at risk to malfunction, even during a fire. Additionally, dust and other debris can also cause it to beep (common during construction).

If your alarm is still beeping, try taking an air dust blower (similar to one used for keyboards) and blow inside the alarm’s vents. You can also do this while changing the batteries.

 

4. Test Silent Button

It’s always a good idea to test your smoke alarm. Sadly, sometimes those tests turn into your worst nightmare (where the smoke detector does not stop beeping). Additionally, the test/silent button can occasionally be pushed even when it was not intended. Either way, if your smoke alarm is still beeping after trying the three tactics below, remove the smoke alarm and test it without the batteries inside.

5. Buy A New Smoke Detector

Smoke detectors do not last a lifetime. If your smoke detector is more than 10 years old, the unit should be replaced. Likewise, if you tried all four solutions above, chances are, you need a new fire alarm.

Fortunately, most smoke detectors cost less than $20 at The Home Depot. Don’t risk your family’s safety for $20, especially if your smoke detector is more than 10 years old.

Hottest Trends In Pool Design

unduhan (20)Swimming pools have been around for a long time and play an important part in actualizing the American dream. because of that there are many pool design that you can choose it. but this is the one of all :

Design trends evolve constantly as new materials, technology and pool features arrive on the market. You now have more choices than ever to add interest and character to your pool. These eight trends are among the hottest for 2016.

 

1. Pool Structure

A traditional in-ground pool has distinct edges, typically with a deep end and a shallow end. The only way to get into the pool is by jumping in or taking the stairs. The pool typically has relatively consistent depths, a shallow end around 3′ to 4’ and a deep end about 8’ deep. The latest trends for 2016, however, turn this convention on its head.Vanishing edge pools create the illusion that the water just keeps on going, blending seamlessly with the sky above.

Beach entries create the same smooth walk into the water that you’d experience at the ocean. Tanning ledges allow for pool enthusiasts to enjoy a few cool, refreshing inches of water while still getting plenty of sun. Also known as a lounging ledge, this shallow waterbed, with 12″ or less of water, is perfect for keeping cool in the water while exposing your skin to a good amount of sun for tanning and relaxing. Tanning ledges are perfect for relaxing in chaise lounges, enjoy splash time with toddlers or cool off without the effort of treading water.

Perimeter overflow pools allow water to overflow the edges of the pool, where it’s captured and recycled back into the pool water. It’s similar to a fountain, but is over the entire pool. The constantly moving water has a wonderful and calming sound and relaxing nature. As a bonus, it also tends to be self-cleaning!

 

2. Tile

Concrete bottomed pools are on the way out. Glass and stone tiles are the material of the future. The reflective quality of glass tile against the water is picture perfect and can be used throughout the whole pool or as luxurious accent. The beautiful colors and patterns created by the tiles evoke a spa-like feel that will enhance your swimming experience. Although typically used as a waterline, glass tile can also be implemented on the ground of the pool to create a magnificently beautiful look. Stone tiles create a stunning and more traditional, Romanesque effect for your pool. Additionally, the smoother surface is also more soothing for bare feet.

3. Fire & Water

Many families are choosing to combine the elements of fire and water to create fascinating effects and enhance the appearance of the pool. Fire pits and fire bowls add light that sparkles on the surface of the water at night. Not only that, they add a sense of luxury and elegance to the pool area.

 

4. Water Features

Water features come in a myriad of options that can really enhance your outdoor living experience. The sound of falling water and the gorgeous visual effect of flowing water create a relaxed atmosphere. Hydrotherapy jets aren’t just for spas and physical therapy pools anymore. This latest feature is now available for in-home pools. These relaxing jets can transform your backyard space into an enchanted oasis and bring a sense of relaxation and peace to your home.

5. Pavers

Concrete and natural paver stones cover the ground around many pool areas. These stones and concrete can appear in a variety of colors and will blend beautifully with any style of pool décor. Because concrete is durable, it’s can hold up to plenty of traffic in the pool area.

Find The Deck Lighting Ideas

Your deck is the perfect place for an outdoor-gathering. When the sun goes down, that doesn’t mean the party has-to-end. The solution is deck lights.

There are many options when it comes to light installation and it can be hard to decide where to start. Some homeowners want to provide a bright space to safely cook and play, while others desire the ambiance of subtle lighting. With a few lighting ideas, you can enjoy your deck any time of day or night.

Looking to upgrade your deck?Contact a pro today and receive up to four free quotes.

 

Create A Plan

Before you shop for your new deck lights, you should create a plan to determine where you’d like your new deck lights. This will help you focus on what you’d like your lighting to highlight and where they will be placed, before any installations are made. Draw out a simple sketch of your deck and begin to label where the lights will go. One of the first things to consider as you plan to add lighting to your deck is how the lights will be powered. Unlike a house lamp, many can’t simply plug into the wall. So you must determine where the power source will come from.

Second, determine where you want your deck lighting to go and what it will highlight. Are you looking to create a safer outdoor environment? Deck stair lights are a great option as well as any type of overhead lighting. Looking for ambiance? Solar lights or string lights can easily provide a relaxing atmosphere.

Once you’ve mapped out where the lights will be placed, you can find the style that’s right for you.

 

Deck Stair Lighting

Decks tend to have specific safety regulations, as many local ordinances require deck stairs and steps to be illuminated. There are plenty of options available, ranging from deck railing lights to illuminate the steps, or lights that recess into the steps themselves. Always be sure to check your city’s code when planning a deck improvement project.

Low Voltage Deck Lighting

One of the more common options for homeowners is low voltage deck lighting. Low voltage deck lighting is easy to install and comes in a variety of styles to match your look. Low voltage lighting does require a transformer to reduce the voltage from the standard 120 volts to 12 volts. The initial installation may have higher costs compared to other options, but tends to take less costly maintenance. Low voltage lights tend to produce a soft light, but can vary by the type of bulb.

Many low voltage deck lighting options are easy to DIY depending on style, making it a good choice for homeowners.

 

LED Deck Lights

If you’re looking for a green option for your deck lighting, look no further than LED lights! According to Energy Star, certified LED lighting uses at least 75% less lighting than incandescent bulbs. LED lights produce less heat, are extremely durable and have double the lifespan of traditional lights. Deck lights face plenty more elements outside and need to be built to last, making LEDs a great choice for your deck lighting.

Solar Deck Lights

Some homeowners would rather not bother with new wiring and electrical installation.Solar deck lights are another green option that is low maintenance and works well, without the use of a plug. Solar lights are becoming increasingly more trendy for outdoor lighting needs in all parts of the country. The solar cells charge the battery with the help of the sun during the day, then the lights turn on for about 10 hours at night to illuminate your deck. Solar deck lights come in a variation of styles, so it’s likely you can find one that fits your needs.

 

Deck Post Lights

An affordable deck lighting style is a deck post light. These lights often point downwards at the deck, illuminating the railing and surrounding area. They add a subtle ambiance to the area and are easy to install. Many attach to your existing posts as a deck post cap.The average cost of deck post lights is between $6.67 and $11.17 per cap.

Recessed Deck Lighting

An option that is common indoors and outdoors, recessed deck lighting is a great option for those who want to create a safe environment without sacrificing style. Many think recessed lighting is limited to decks with ceilings, but one of the biggest trends in recessed lighting right now is sitting flush with the deck itself, highlighting an interesting deck feature. Recessed lighting has great safety benefits, whether it’s directly overhead to make sure the food you’re cooking is ready to eat or ensuring the deck stairs can clearly be seen. The average cost of recessed lighting is between $20 to $150 per light.

 

Deck String Lights

There’s no doubt about it, string lights are hot right now for outdoor décor. Flip open any magazine and you’re likely to find globe lights or lanterns adorning trees and other outdoor features. String lights take very little effort to install and can be placed almost anywhere, as long as there is an outlet available. Be aware that string lights don’t last as long as other options, so be ready to replace when needed. Depending on the style and bulb, outdoor string lights can range anywhere from $14 to $125.

Pool Deck Lighting Ideas

If your deck sits next to a pool, lighting is a must. You will need lights bright enough so everyone remains safe in and out of the pool. While any of the above options will do, recessed and deck posts will help to clearly mark where the deck ends and the pool starts. Similarly, to stairs, check your local ordinances to see what is required. After all, safety should always be your first priority.

You must use this idea that hardwood floors is the right one

However, caring for them can be a challenge. After years of use, your hardwood flooring can become scratched. But, you can make them look like new again without fully-replacing-them.

If you like to DIY and have time to patiently take care of your floors, this project could be right for you. Here’s how to refinish your hardwood floors.

Costs to Refinish Hardwood Floors

Depending on the type of wood used, care and the installation method, hardwood flooring can last up to 25 years or more. Refinishing damaged hardwood floors will ensure that your floors last a lifetime. The average cost to refinish hardwood floors is $1,455. This cost depends on the area that is being refinished and the amount of wear and tear on the wood. Keep in mind, if you’re doing it yourself, you may need to factor the costs of renting a sander and other materials you may not already own.

Refinishing Considerations

When taking on this project, it should not be done hastily. There are many decisions to make that can impact the way your floors look and last. Here are a few questions to consider.

How Much Time is Needed? 

Refinishing hardwood floors is a time-intensive project. Many of the materials used will take hours to fully dry, making this project longer than a weekend DIY. If there is carpet or vinyl covering the wood, you’ll need to factor in removal time. Additionally, if you plan on changing the stain of your floor, more time should be factored into applying the new stain.

What Kind of Stain & Polyurethane Should Be Used?

Changing the stain color of your floor is possible, but will require a heavier sanding process. The stain you choose when you’re refinishing can drastically change the look of the room and appearance of the wood. Know what kind of wood your flooring is made of before moving forward. Some woods don’t take to stains as well as others. Oak has the most variation of stain options, while harder woods, like walnut and maple, tend to look best left natural.

Polyurethane comes in two varieties; water-based and oil-based. Water-based is quicker to dry and leaves a clear finish, likely best for a wood you want to naturally show off. Oil-based will give the wood an amber color and takes longer to dry. Remember that floor finish is specific to flooring. Furniture finish will not work here.

What’s the Condition of the Floor?

In some cases, wood flooring must be replaced rather than refinished. Refinishing hardwood floors can only be done a few times, so know how many times the floor has been finished before you sand the boards too thin. Any damaged boards should be repaired and floors with water damage should not be refinished.

Additionally, if you have engineered hardwood floors, leave this to the pros, as the layers of wood could be damaged if not done correctly. This DIY project should only be done if you have solid hardwood floors.

Materials Needed

  • Random Orbital Sander (Rental)
  • Handheld Sander
  • Detail Sander
  • Hammer
  • Dust Mask
  • Painter’s Tape
  • Plastic Sheets
  • Course Grit Sandpaper
  • Medium Grit Sandpaper
  • Fine Grit Sandpaper
  • Buffing Screens
  • Sealer
  • Polyurethane
  • Vacuum
  • Dry Mop
  • Paint Brush
  • Roller & Extension Pole
  • Optional: Stain

Step 1: Prepare the Room

Before starting the sander, you’ll need to clean and clear the room. Remove any furniture and repair any damages. Make sure the floor is clean before starting to sand, sweeping and vacuuming the room. When you begin sanding, debris is likely to travel. Cover any vents and openings with plastic sheets and painters tape so the dust does not leave the area. Cover any trim with painter’s tape as well, to ensure you don’t get any unwanted finish on them. Once the room is clear, you’re ready to begin sanding.

Step 2: Sand the Floor

Before beginning this process, wear a dust mask and goggles to protect yourself from sawdust in the air. Using a handheld and detail sander, sand the perimeter of the room starting with a course grit sandpaper. Make sure to properly sand all of the corners and oddly shaped areas of the floor, so the finish is sure to stick.

When the perimeter is completed, begin with a course grit sandpaper on your random orbit sander. Be sure to begin moving once the stander starts, as standing still can cause permanent damage to the floor. You should begin to see the old finish leave the floor. Follow the same back and forth pattern running the width of the room. When you move to your next stroke, overlap a few inches on the sanded area, so you’re sure to cover the whole floor. Vacuum and dry mop the floor to pick up any excess sawdust.

This step must be repeated two more times. The second time with the medium grit sandpaper and the final time with a fine grit sandpaper. Complete this by using your buffing screens to buff the floor. When the process is finished, your floor should be smooth to the touch. Clean the whole room for any sawdust that may be on walls, window sills and fixtures.

HOw to design retile your shower

Nothing in the home lasts forever, and since the bathroom is the most trafficked room in the home. Retiling a shower is a project one must consider.

Existing tile can only be cleaned so much. Many choose to revitalize their bathroom by retiling the shower. It can be a lengthy and sometimes timely project, but those who do bite the bullet almost always agree that it is well worth it.

How to Retile A Shower

Retiling a shower consists of completely knocking out the existing tile and installing new tile. For those of you with larger showers, this is by no means a short project. However, before you can get started, you must first choose your existing tile, which I will get to later, and gather all your tools. The tools you will need to retile your shower are:

  • New tile
  • Utility knife, chisel or putty knife
  • Hammer
  • Sander
  • Scrub brush
  • Grout
  • Grout trowel
  • Mortar mix
  • Mortal trowel
  • Paint remover
  • Tile spacers
  • Caulk
  • Goggles
  • Gloves

 

Step 1: Remove Old Tile

First, remove the shower head and shower handle. You may need a drill or screwdriver. Then, cover the shower floors to prevent damage from falling tile. You can use multiple towels or cardboard.

Take your hammer and chisel and start from the bottom corner. Gently place chisel on side of tile and use hammer to push the tile out. Start gently. As you move on, you may have to use some real elbow grease to get these tiles out.

Some of the shower tile may chip, but your goal is to get each individual piece off by itself. As you move your way inside the shower, you may have to the use putty knife or flat bar instead of a chisel. Go across one row first and then move your way down. It makes the process much easier.

Once all tile has been removed, chisel off any remaining mortar as well.

Tip: Be very careful with tile along the wall and ceiling. Use your utility knife and make a cut along the top, bottom and side tile along the ceiling, floors and walls. Be very careful with these tiles. You don’t want to ruin the walls, ceilings, or floors.

 

 

Step 2: Clean & Prepare Walls

Before moving forward, you must get all walls smooth and flat. If you missed any mortar spots, chisel those spots off now. The wall needs to be smooth before you add any tile. An uneven wall makes for uneven retile.

Next, measure the width of one wall. Find the middle and make a vertical line from top to bottom. That center is where we will start.

Step 3: Retile the Shower

Before you begin, measure your wall and decide how much tile you need. Go to the store with this number in mind. This way, you won’t overspend and the store can cut some of the tile needed for the edges and around the shower fixtures.

Starting off, cover the bottom half of the wall with thinset mortar and spread it with your notched mortar trowel. Press down hard with your trowel. Make sure it’s clean and even throughout the wall.

Set the bottom row of tile in place starting at the center of the vertical line you drew earlier. Press the tiles into the mortar with spacers between them. Work your way to the sides, cutting the end tiles if you need. If you don’t feel comfortable cutting tile yourself, take it your nearest Home Depot as discussed earlier.

Step 4: Add Grout

Remove the spacers from the mortar. Spread grout over the walls from the top to the bottom, pressing it into the spaces with the grout trowel. Use a damp sponge to clean off any excess grout as soon as possible. Be persistent with cleaning. The grout could harden and stick to your brand new tile.

Grout all lines except the vertical lines along the walls and horizontal lines along the floor.

Let the grout set for 24 hours. Finally, caulk the vertical lines along the wall and the horizontal lines along the floor. Let grout and caulk set for 48 hours before using the shower.

For more guidance on grouting, including its costs, please see ourregrouting tile cost estimator.

 

Shower Tile types

Most of the time, homeowners go with the same tile they already had on their shower wall. Others like a new and refreshed look and end up with a new type of shower tile. The final decision depends on taste and of course, budget.

Nearly any tile type can be applied to a shower wall as long as it’s waterproof, durable and correctly installed. Tile types you can use for your shower wall include:

  • Ceramic Tile
  • Porcelain Tile
  • Stone Tile
  • Metal Tile
  • Glass Tile

While ceramic and porcelain tend to be most popular types of shower tile, stone is starting to gain steam. If you go with stone, there are various options, including:

  • Limestone
  • Slate
  • Marble
  • Travertine
  • Granite
  • Polished Stone

 

Tile Costs

Beyond looks, costs generally prove to be the biggest factor in choosing a shower tile.

Ceramic tile is one of the lowest-priced options on the market. Besides being extremely economical, it’s also very popular and comes in all sizes and shapes. Prices range from $0.49/sf of ceramic tile all the way up to $12/sf with the average being closer to $2/sf.

Porcelain tile, on the other hand, is much harder and more durable. While the installation cost is certainly a bit more than ceramic, when analyzing the lifetime value of its cheaper brother, porcelain oftentimes is the logical choice. Porcelain is available in styles that look very similar to natural stone and can be purchased glazed or unglazed.

Stone is a more expensive type of shower tile. As stated above, there are various types of stone tile and all would certainly bring a welcomed upgrade to a dated shower. However, their timeless look doesn’t come without a price. The average price of stone tile ranges between $3/sf and $12/sf.