Posts by Landon Melancon

Clever Ways To Create Something New With Old Shutters

When you get ready to replace your window shutters, either indoor or out, consider re-purposing them throughout the house for a fresh focal point. There are so many things that you can do with any wood or vinyl shutter; it would be a shame to simply stick these versatile fixtures in storage.

Use shutters for the following projects and create a novel conversation piece:

Bring a bed back to life. Mount old shutters on the wall above your bed for a unique and distinctive headboard. Try arranging smaller shutters in a pattern and painting the headboard before securing to the wall.

Put together a pergola. If you happen to find tall, outdoor shutters, consider making an unconventional pergola for your yard or garden. These can be easily secured using hardware and an electric drill, and a bit of epoxy may further ensure your pergola stands up against the weather and elements. Use shutters for the two sides, connecting them at the top with an additional shutter, either vinyl or wood.

Recycle a single shutter into a runner. If you get your hands on a single, cool old shutter, use it as a runner down the middle of your dining room table. This can go on top of any linen that you may use, and place flower arrangements, serving dishes, or candles on top of the shutter, if desired. These have a kind of shabby-chic appeal.

Fix yourself a unique fireplace screen. Small interior shutters are ideal for making fireplace screens to cover up your fireplace and grace your hearth. Use small brass hinges to attach as many shutters as you wish to create the accordion-style screen that will unfold and stand on its own.

Use shutters for storing books. Shutters are the perfect size and shape to make simple bookcases to hold all of your family’s books. Use the shutter as the shelves, with additional shutters secured on the sides for the foundation. Spray paint the entire bookcase a bright, vibrant color to finish.

Wow visitors with a wall treatment. If you are fortunate enough to have quite a few shutters on hand, consider using them to create a funky wall treatment on a single wall in your home. Wood works best as the inherent grain and natural weathering give it a rich and distinctive look. Simply secure each shutter flush against the next to create a “wall” of shutters.

Throw together a quick and easy rack. A random shutter is the perfect foundation for a clever and easy rack, that works in any area of the home. Some ideas for turning a shutter into a rack include:

  • Hang a shutter on the kitchen wall for utensils.
  • Hang a shutter horizontally and secure hooks, knobs, or extra drawer-pulls for a simple clothing or towel rack in the bathroom.
  • Secure your shutter over your desk or workspace, flush against the wall, and use the slats to hold papers, documents, or photos conveniently.

Create a clever conversation piece in your home with indoor or outdoor shutters:

  • Seek some unique wooden shutters from salvage yards or recycled building supply centers in your region.
  • Check out thrift stores for both indoor and outdoor shutters for low-cost projects.
  • Consider updating your current window treatments and shutters, and recycling any shutters into charming conversation pieces throughout your home. 

To learn more about shutters, contact a company like Budget Blinds Of Coachella Valley

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Three Ways To Add A Special Touch To Your Garden

If you have a garden area in your yard that you tend to take serious then you may want to add a bit more to that part of the yard so you can get even more enjoyment of it. When you want to bring your garden area to the next level, the ideas here may be the answer:   

Make personalized stepping stones to put around the garden

You can make your own stepping stones that look exactly how you want them to. They can even display special messages so you can add an extra special touch to your garden. To make the stepping stones, pour some fast drying cement into round cake pans. Tap the pans on the sides to work out any air bubbles.

Decorate the top of the stepping stones any way you want. You can use a sharp instrument to write messages into it. You can also push broken pieces of colored glass, marbles, seashells or other items into the cement to create the designs you want.

Make a sitting area next to the garden

You can place a cozy sitting area right by the garden that you can relax in. You can even add small stools you handmade, for an extra special touch. Small stools can be made by putting cement into a thicker cake pan and putting three or four thick sticks in it that are the same length. The sticks should be put in the cement about three-fourths of the way. Once the cement dries completely, you can take it out of the pan. Place some of your hand crafted stepping stones and a few of these stools near the garden. You can make a table for the area using the same method, but while using a large, rectangular pan to create the table top. 

Place a waterfall nearby

Whether or not you decide to create a nice sitting area near your garden, putting a water fountain and small pond near it will create a very relaxing and comfortable space where you can spend your time enjoying nature. You can buy outdoor water fountains and ponds in all styles and sizes so you can get one that goes with your landscaping. Many ponds can be purchased that go above ground, so you don’t even need to worry about digging up the yard to have everything put in place.

Making these changes to your garden area is going to help you to make a space for yourself that you can spend great lengths of time in.

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Repairing Hardwood Flooring Damage Caused By Your Dog

If your dog lives indoors with you, you may have find it comical when he or she gets excited and does the ‘boot, scoot and boogie’ run across the wood flooring. However, you may have also found that your dog’s nails have scratched your hardwood flooring. Check out these tips about how to repair your wood flooring after many games of fetch across it, too many running fits or one too many potty training accidents.

Repairing Scratches

If your hardwood flooring has a thick coat of polyurethane on it, the scratches made by your dog’s nails may only be superficial. If you have a small area of scratches, using a stain marker or color putty stick for covering them may be your best option. You can find stain markers and putty sticks for wood flooring at most home improvement stores.

For larger areas of scratches that are deeper, sanding the floor is best. Lightly sanding the areas that are scratched until they have a smooth finish is your first step. Once you have finished sanding, you will need to stain the floor and reapply a fresh coat of polyurethane sealant. Remember that matching your stain and polyurethane sealant to your floor’s existing color can be challenging. For this reason, starting out with a lighter stain and applying it until you reach the same shade is the best way to go. To prevent scratches from damaging your floor again, you might consider having your vet apply nails caps to your dog’s nails. Nail caps are soft plastic caps that are glued onto the nail and can help protect your wood flooring from further damage when your dog is playing on it.

Taking Out Potty Accident Stains

Most every dog owner has experienced cleaning up after their dog’s potty accidents. However, when a dog urinates, or otherwise, on your hardwood flooring, it can cause irreparable moisture damage that sports a terrible odor. If you have a stain from urine or feces that is light in color, you can sand it out, apply wood bleach and reapply stain and sealant. However, darker stains can indicate the moisture has gone deep and caused severe damage. Darker stains on hardwood flooring will mean the boards need to be removed and replaced. Also, darker stains are usually the ones that smell the worst. Keeping your dog on a schedule for feeding and potty times can help you reduce potty accidents on your wood flooring in the future that can be expensive to repair.

Protecting your hardwood flooring from damage is important to avoid it becoming an eye-sore in your home and causing your property value to decrease. Making repairs when scratches and stains are small is best to avoid them from becoming bigger and more costly.

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Should You Convert Your Basement To An In-Law Unit?

If you’ve recently purchased a home with an unfinished basement, you and your spouse may be faced with several options — leaving the basement as-is and using it for storage, creating a family rec room or “man cave,” or investing in a total remodel to install a separate living unit for your parents or in-laws. With more and more Americans entering the “sandwich generation,” caring for aging parents and minor children at the same time, having what is essentially an assisted-living unit in your home can be a financially sound idea for some. Read on for some of the factors you’ll want to consider when deciding to invest in an in-law unit.

Are the lifestyle and financial benefits of an in-law unit worthwhile?

Having your parent living in your home — but with a separate kitchen, bathing, and sleeping area to ensure privacy — can provide a number of lifestyle benefits. Your parent may be able to provide child care services or even cook for the entire family on a busy night. You’ll be able to easily and conveniently transport your parent to doctor’s appointments, ensure he or she is eating and sleeping enough, and feel like a more cohesive family unit.

The cost to fashion an unfinished basement into a legal separate living unit will likely be in the $30,000 to $50,000 range. Meanwhile, residence at an assisted living facility can run around $42,000 per year (with regular 4 percent increases), meaning that your basement remodel will essentially have paid for itself if your parent lives with you for more than a year. Depending upon your parent’s financial situation, he or she may opt to carve out the cost of this remodel in his or her will, ensuring that you’ll be fully repaid upon your parent’s death, or even pay you fair market value rental rates for residing in your home.

Will you want (or be able) to rent this unit out?

If your plans to move in a parent fall through, or if your parent quickly needs more care than you can provide on your own, you may be able to generate some regular income by renting out this unit to tenants who simply need a place to eat and sleep or who can provide caregiving services to your parent. However, if the idea of opening up your home to strangers makes you uncomfortable, you may want to reconsider the remodel. At some point, particularly after your children move out and your parents pass away, living in a home with two separate living units may prove more expensive and time-consuming than you wish. 

If you have more questions about basement remodeling, contact a company like Property Service Agency LLC.

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Traditional Vs. Tankless Water Heaters

When shopping for new hot water tanks, you will quickly discover that your choices are not limited to just a traditional water heater. Tankless water heaters are designed to provide your home with hot water without the need for a tank. To help you make the right choice for your home, it is important to understand the differences between each. 

Upfront Cost

There is a significant difference in the upfront cost of the water heaters. A traditional electric water heater starts at $400, while the starting cost for the tankless heater is $1,800. It is important to note that the cost of installation increases the upfront cost of the heater. 

Energy Efficiency

Even though a traditional water heater is less expensive than a tankless heater, it can cost more to operate it over a period of time than the tankless. Tankless water heaters operate by heating water as you need it, which means there is no need to keep a tank of water in reserve heated. 

By contrast, a traditional water heater holds gallons of water in reserve and energy is constantly needed to keep the water heated. As a result, your energy bills can be higher. Over the long run, the cost of the tankless water heater can be recouped through energy bill savings. 

Lifespan

Regardless of whether you select a gas or electric water heater, the unit usually lasts between 10 to 15 years. Most of the parts are irreplaceable, so if it requires repair, it is likely that the heater will need to be replaced completely. 

A tankless water heater has a life expectancy that extends to more than 20 years. Unlike the traditional heater, the tankless heater has parts that are removable, which makes it easier to perform repairs. 

Storage

One of the main advantages to having a tankless water heater is that it does not take up much space and can be easily installed in small spaces. It can even be installed outside on the wall. 

The traditional water heater requires a dedicated space within your home. It cannot be installed outside of the home. You also have to be careful about the placement because if the tank starts to leak, the hot water within can be dangerous to people. 

If you are still unsure whether a tankless or traditional water heater is best for you, consult with a retailer or plumber. You can learn additional differences of each type of heater so you can make the decision that is best for your home. 

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