Pamela McArdle's Blog
If security in your home is a concern, you can consider stepping things up a bit with steel entry doors. While you may think of steel doors as something that you’d find in an industrial type building, they’re not just for businesses anymore. Many homeowners are turning to steel entry doors in order to capitalize on their many benefits.
You’d be surprised that many new construction homes can be found with steel entry doors, and the prices aren't bad. A basic door will run somewhere between $100-$150. You’ll still need to buy the installation hardware for the doors, but these prices are fairly reasonable.
Benefits Of Steel Doors
There are many benefits to steel entry doors. The first of these perks is that they are incredibly secure. Break-ins generally occur either on lower level windows or through a front door. Thieves have a slim chance of getting into a steel door that has been properly installed.
The next benefit of steel doors is that they’re very durable. Steel is known to be quite a weather resistant material. These doors are also energy efficient and help you to keep the cost of your utility bills down.
Be careful when choosing your steel doors. Not all steel doors are fire resistant. A fire-resistant door can block high levels of heat and flames for about 20 minutes. You can check on your specific door of choice for how extensive the flame retardant material is and how long it will last.
Steel doors don’t require much maintenance. Because of their resistance to rust, cracking, and bending, these doors will last longer and keep your home looking sharp for longer periods of time. Steel doors are especially favorable if you live in an environment with high amounts of precipitation and humidity. The moisture won’t affect the condition of the door. If the doors happen to need any repairs, know that steel doors are just as easy to repair as a standard wooden door is. Your steel door will rarely require a replacement.
When you think of a steel door, you may picture a cold, metal door that’s quite unwelcoming. This couldn’t be further from the truth! You’re able to paint these doors any color that you’d like. First, you’ll need to remove all of the hardware from the door. Then, you’ll need to sand and prime the door. Next, you can move into the painting phase. You can use many different methods to paint a steel door including brushing, rolling, or spraying the door.
When you have kids, the dynamics of your home change. You often go from refined to durable. If we looked at flooring from a simply practical standpoint, we’d end up with uncomfortable flooring's like ceramic, laminate, or engineered wood. That’s why carpets come in handy.
For one, children spend a lot of time playing on the floor. When you put down a carpet and there are children around, you fully expect that there will be spills, blood, and much roughing around done right on the surface. So, you’ll need to choose your fibers carefully when picking a carpet out.
Know that polyester, nylon, and triexta are among the most durable types of fibers. Stay away from wool carpets, as they are really not the best choice for homes with children. Polyester (also known as PET), is a budget friendly, and environmentally friendly type of carpet that provides stain resistance and a long life. Nylon is known for durability and softness. This is another material that’s great if you want a carpet with a long life. Triexta is a unique fiber that provides the highest amount of stain resistance and really will be soil-free.
There is another option when it comes to carpeting and that is modular carpeting. This type of carpeting can be laid out in the form of tiles. If a piece is soiled, stained, or ripped, you’ll be able to just switch out that piece of the carpeting puzzle if it can’t be cleaned. This is an option for homes with children, however, it’s not a popular choice in residential settings. Generally, modular carpeting is used in commercial settings like office buildings, and indoor public places like shopping malls. This can be a good option for you depending on the size of your home and your needs. If you have a room that’s completely dedicated to children, like a playroom, for example, you could use a modular carpet.
Treating The Carpets
There is an option to have your carpets pre-treated with a Scotchgard like chemical. This is also available for your furniture. It helps to prevent your furniture and carpets from stains and soiling, surrounding each fiber for a total protection. Once a fiber is treated, it will never wash or wear off. It’s a good option to treat your home with this especially when you have children.
Whether you decide to do wall-to-wall carpeting or simply place some area rugs around in order to make the floors of your home more durable and comfortable for children, you have some options to take the curse off of the inevitable mess that children will make.
Gazebos are an excellent addition to any type of garden whether big or small. They are a perfect accessory because they not only beautify the garden but also offer a lot of practical benefits. For instance, they can serve as shade from hot sun and place of relaxation. Furthermore, your garden gazebo can house your family grill, and serve as a place to relax during summer.
Gazebos come in different styles; a classic gazebo will have a turreted rooftop, or an octagonal frame, or both. One of the features of a gazebo is that it does not have a foundation. The most important factor you need to consider when planning to set up a gazebo is its area.
There is a wide range of gazebo designs and sizes; ultra-modern gazebo designs are available now in kiosk-style designs, porch designs, airwave pop-up designs, poolside pergola designs, and many more. Some of the tips to keep in mind when building your garden gazebo are as follows:
Understand your needs
It is essential to comprehend the reason why you are creating a gazebo. Apart from knowing why you are erecting a gazebo, you should have a proper understanding of how you intend to use it before building it. You don't need a large gazebo if you only need it for hanging out and making shade in the opposite direction from the sun. A small-sized gazebo should be considered again if you have a little yard. You need a bigger gazebo if you intend to use it to entertain. If you are using a gazebo to cover a hot tub, you will need a bigger one with the perfect size to fit beyond the frame of the hot tub.
Use natural materials
There are wide ranges of materials available to make a gazebo. Wood is one of the best materials to consider when building a gazebo. Wood structures are perfect because they are sturdy, stable, and are ideal for most environments.
Add personal touch
You can add some character to your gazebo by adding small flower pots, and some benches. These personal touches will not only make your gazebo attractive but also give it a creative and unique look.
One of the best ways to make this summer awesome for your family is to build a gazebo in your garden. Follow the tips above when creating your garden gazebo and enjoy relaxation and shade it can offer.
In hot climates, gazebos add value to your property when you go to sell, so talk to your real estate professional about the best style for your area.
Windows have both aesthetic and functional uses in the home. They help the keep the fresh air in the house and the elements out. Windows are also an essential source of security in a home, and poorly secured windows can be dangerous for you. Many people do not plan enough for windows when building or renovating a house. Here are some things that you must consider when selecting windows for your home:
Type and Quality of Materials
The quality of window production materials is critical to note because it plays a vital role in the lifespan of the windows. Windows made from vinyl frames, and high-performance low-E4 thermal glass, are excellent for adding energy efficiency. They possess strength with the ease of vinyl. They're resistant to rot, cracks, and corrosion.
Windows come in many unique styles. When it comes to window selection, there is a wide array of window types for you to choose from for your home. These include styles like classic double-hung and casement windows to a dynamically beautiful bay, bow, or picture windows. Also, you can get specialty windows which are custom built for unusual-sized or shaped openings. No matter the type you desire, be assured that your choice of selection fits your style and convenience.
Cleaning and Housekeeping
You may not consider cleaning windows as a tedious task. Still, it could become so if you have too many windows around the house. While making selections, ensure that windows you choose have features like tilt-in sashes and easy-to-operate handles. These are standard accessories you should find on most double-hung, sliding, casement, and specialty replacement windows. They also make windows easier to clean.
If the contractor in charge of the job does not install your windows correctly, the window might likely not look the way you want. If you choose your windows and the contractor carefully, then it's a sure bet that you'll be satisfied with your purchase even after many years.
You can go to the local home hardware store to look at the many styles available, ask questions, and also ask for information about contractors and window installers. You may also be able to buy directly from the manufacturer and save some money depending on the quantity you are buying. You also get to know first-hand what you are buying and how to get the best out of it.
If you’re hoping to buy a home in the near future there are several financial prerequisites that you should aim to meet. Ideally, you’ll want a sizable down payment, a verifiable income history, and a good credit score.
It takes time to build credit. For most people, it can be several months or even years before they see a double-digit change in their credit score. However, if you have a low credit score and want to give it a quick boost, there are ways you can make a big difference.
But first, why should you focus on your credit score?
Credit scores and mortgages
When you apply for a mortgage there are several factors that your lender will take into consideration. One of their top concerns will be your credit score. This score is like a snapshot of your financial reliability. It tells lenders how much risk is involved in lending to you.
As a result, lenders will increase your interest rate if you are high risk and lower it if you are lower risk. To be a low risk homeowner, you’ll want your score to be in the high range, (usually 700 or above).
Credit change potential
Depending on your financial history, it can be more difficult to raise your score in a shorter period of time. If you are young, don’t have a long credit history, or haven’t had many bills to pay in your lifetime, your score will be more malleable than someone who has had low credit for years due to late payments.
In the United States, you have to be eighteen to open up a credit card or take out a loan by yourself (this is different from getting a loan co-signed by a parent or guardian). You can also ask your parents or guardians to add you as an authorized user of their credit cards. This will let you build credit without having to settle for the high interest rate credit cards you would be eligible for.
If you happen to have a low score (anywhere between 300 - 600), the good news is you can achieve a larger change over a shorter amount of time than someone who already has a high score.
So, how do you achieve that change?
One of the easiest ways to quickly improve your score is to check for errors in your credit report. You can get a free report each year from the three main credit bureaus--Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian.
Look out for bills that have been mistakenly put under your name and for collections that shouldn’t be on your account.
Avoid new credit
One thing that can do short-term harm to your credit score is opening or attempting to open new lines of credit. That can be a store card, a loan, or getting your credit checked by a lender.
If you want to build credit quickly, making several inquiries could land you with a lower score than where you started.
Pay your regular expenses with credit
A good way to gain credit points in a few months is to pick a monthly expense to use your credit card for. Pay off your full balance at the end of each billing cycle to earn the most points while avoiding building up too much interest.