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 NJ contractor since 1994, and a father, and husband. Contact me for all your construction questions.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Color tips for a Kitchen

If you have been thinking about painting your kitchen here is a few great tips to remember. Your kitchen is like a fruit salad, full of color in many vibrant hues. When painting, great colors like a sea foam or blue sky, help to bring nature colors indoors. If you have stainless steel appliances, think of yellows and greens, even red-oranges to make your appliances stand out. Shades of blacks and whites also work really well when you have stainless steel appliances. Take in mind also what finish will do best in your kitchen.

Blue has become very popular in kitchen decor lately. One of the most popular shades of blue, is sky blue. It matches nicely with many backsplashs that are glossy white or stainless steel.

The next most popular color is sea form green. It brings the feel of the tropics to your kitchen. Matched with a green tile, it looks fantastic in most any kitchen style. There are many different shades of course, so play with the color green, and use what works best for your decor.

You can also use what is called the paintbox effect. This is using a bold color, that will really pop out and grab your attention. Most of the time this effect is used in small kitchens to give them a bigger looking effect. The color pumpkin, with a white trim, is the most popular paintbox color.  Butter yellow with a white ceiling is the second most popular.

There are so many hues, and finishes to choose from, so play around, and pick what will work for your home.

Have fun


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Fixing sidewalk cracks

DIY is a easy task when it comes to fixing cracks in a concrete sidewalk. You only need a few basic tools to do this.
  • Broom
  • Wire brush
  • Epoxy concrete caulk
  • Caulk gun
  • Chisel
  • Hammer
  • Hose
  • Paintbrush
  • Concrete adhesive
  • Concrete repair mix
  • Bucket
  • Trowel
  • Plastic sheets
  • Duct tape
To repair small areas, you want to start by sweeping the area clear of dust and debris. If you have a crack wide enough try and clean inside the crack with a wire brush.

Take your epoxy concrete caulk and fill in the crack. A caulk gun is a great tool to use when doing small cracks. After you fill your cracks make sure to wipe away any excess.

The sidewalk will need eight hours to dry where it was patched, so avoid walking on that area.

To repair larger cracks you will need a hammer and a chisel. You want the crack wider at the bottom than the surface of the sidewalk, this creates a V shape. The reason for this is to hold the patch after it dries, and also to help the bond with the existing concrete.

Again you want to clean your crack with your wire brush. Sweeping away any loose particles. Spray your crack with your garden hose, to wash away any remaining dust. Before you can proceed make sure the concrete is totally dry.

After the drying time, paint your crack on the inside with your bonding agent. For this a paintbrush will work well. This helps the bond agent to adhere well, and to adhere to the existing concrete more effectively.

Next step is to blend your concrete mixture with water in your bucket.

After which you will begin to fill the crack with a putty knife or even a trowel. Making sure to wipe away the excess.

After waiting for two hours you patch should be set. You can then cover the area with plastic sheeting, secured with tape. You will want to lift the plastic once a day to spray with water. This will slow the drying process down, and reduce having any future cracks. This will be done once a day for the next three days at that time you can go ahead and remove the plastic.



Monday, August 29, 2011

Home inspection and MOLD

When buying a home the last thing you want to find is mold. Make sure to inspect for mold infestation before you finalize your sale.

Mold spores can grow and cause great health problems, and even more extensive home repairs. Know what to look for, or get professional help.

Sometimes mold is hard to find. It comes in many colors, like black, white, grey or green. It can survive in damp spots or hide between walls and floors. It can also make you very sick, including allergies and irritation that will affect your eyes, nose, skin, and throat. It can even cause damage to your lungs. Mold can even cause harm to your pets.

You can do your own inspection. Look for water in the basement and water marks on walls, leaky pipes, leaky windows or a leaky ceiling. Sniff for musty smells in the rooms. Ask your Realtor if the home was built with synthetic stucco, and ask upfront for a disclosure on any water or mold problems.

You can ask your inspector to look for mold issues, and write a report. If you think you have hidden mold hire a professional to test the home. They can test the air in the home and get samples from the walls.

Before you buy, negotiate the removal of the mold with the seller, this should also bring the value of the home down. Make sure you get prices and know the cost of mold removal.


Sunday, August 28, 2011

Choosing the right hardwood floor

Laminate flooring is not actually made from wood. It actually is sturdy laminate with fiberboard backing. It is cost effective and very easy to install. It can even be floated over concrete. Even though you are going with laminate make sure you choose one that is durable and affordable. Laminate can not be refinished, like a wood floor can. So it is wise to choose one that will stand up to your home or office traffic.


Saturday, August 27, 2011

Veggies to Plant in the fall

The following is veggies that can be planted in the fall. Leafy greens, root crops and brassicas. Your best fall veggies are lettuces, spinach, kale, carrots, parsnips, rutabagas, cabbages, peas, garlic, broccoli, cauliflower and beets. These grow great in the fall, and will tolerate light frost. If planted from seeds the directions will be on the package. Enjoy your veggies in the fall as well as spring and summer.


Friday, August 26, 2011

Time to close the pool

As much as you don't want to, you know the nights are getting chilly and shorter, and it's time to close the pool. But a properly closed pool will help you open it quickly next summer.
There are a few things you need to do. First remove all the ladders, ropes and if you have one, the diving board. Clean them all good and store them away. Make sure your chemistry is balanced. You want to brush down and clean the pool sides, and then vacuum. Next is to turn off your pool heater if you have one. Then shock your pool and add your algaecide this will make sure the water is nice and clean for next year. You will then lower your pool water level down below the returns, and then blow your lines out with a shop vacuum. Then close the return openings with your screw stoppers. You can add plumbing antifreeze to your skimmer. Also available is frost protecting tubing that can be put into your lines. Next it's time to drain and clean your pump and your filter. A good precaution is to also add plumbing antifreeze to your pump. Last is to put your winter cover over your pool and make sure it is secure. Cover you skimmer opening as well.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

How to remove stickers off a fridge

If you have little ones in the house, then more than likely you have had them sticking their stickers on the side of your fridge. Removing them could be a real challenge.

So here is a tip for getting them off. You want to wedge your fingernail underneath the edge of the sticker. Then slowly try and peel it off from the fridge. If that doesn't work try blowing hot air from your hair dryer onto it for 45 seconds. When doing this make sure the setting is on hot, and hold the dryer six inches from your fridge. After the sticker is gone, just wipe the sticky residue off with a wet soapy rag, with a drop of dish soap on it. To rinse the soapy water off the fridge just wipe with a clean wet rag. This should do the trick.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Lattice Privacy Fence

If you are looking for a little privacy when you are tanning, swimming or for a special spot in your yard you can get it with lattice. Not only is it easy to construct but looks great. You can use white lattice or natural wood lattice. If you like you can also stain or paint the lattice to match your garden decor.

The lattice for privacy works well indoors, just as it does outdoors.

Tacked to a wall makes a great look. Hang your pics or decorations from it. It will definitely be a conversation piece.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Textures for drywall

You can give your drywall texture to hide flaws, and give your walls character. Most use joint compound, because it is inexpensive and easy to use. Applying the compound by machine can give you a variety of techniques. There are also plasters and paints that will create layers of textures.

There is one texture called orange peel that is a very light texture. This is done by using a spray machine. You create the texture several ways, the farther you stand away from the wall the lighter the orange peel bumps will be.

You also create texture by hand, with different movements using a trowel and compound. By using the end of the trowel will also create different textures.

Then you have your faux finishes. This is done with plaster and using different colors of paint. Some plasters have what is called mica flakes, giving the wall a metallic look that will glow when the sun or a light hits it.

What ever your style it will be fun creating it.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Spanish Chicken Soup with noodles

  • Celery stalks
  • Carrots
  • Yellow onion
  • Virgin olive oil
  • Chicken backs
  • Water
  • Bay leaves
  • Angel-hair pasta
  • Salt
  • Cutting board
  • Cutting knife
  • Large skillet or soup pan
You will need the above to get started.

This is my own recipe. You can serve it before a meal, or as the main course. To start, peel three stalks of celery, peel 2 carrots and one onion of your choice. I prefer a Spanish onion. Then you want to chop them into thick pieces, trying to keep them all about the same size. After that get a wide skillet and place it over a med heat. To that you will add 3tbsps of olive oil. Get your veggies and toss them into your skillet, saute them for 3 minutes, make sure you stir them frequently. After they are tender, place your chicken backs into your skillet and cook for 3 minutes until they are nice and brown. After they are brown, pour in your 6 cups of water, and add to that 2 bay leaves. Simmer your soup for 1 hour. When the chicken is soft add your angel hair pasta and cook until your pasta is done to your liking. I also at that point drop in a few eggs. Serve with some nice crusty bread or tortilla chips. I hope you will try this recipe and enjoy it.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Shrub Ideas for the front of your home

Shrubs give the front of your home a great focial point. When grouped together it makes the landscape and building one cohesive unit. You will want to use tall shrubs at the sides of a entrance and at corners of your home. For under windows use medium size shrubs, or low growing shrubs. These are also great to use as a border for walkways. Flowering shrubs are always a great idea, as they give your landscape color. You can even group flowering shrubs together in pairs of three to five. Taller shrubs should always be positioned in the back.


Saturday, August 20, 2011

Smoke detector false alarms

Any homeowner knows that your smoke alarm can go off even for non emergency's. This can be due to several factors. That is why it is important to plan and position your smoke detectors carefully. There are two types of alarms, ionization and photoelectric, both carry false alarms if installed improperly.

You can place a smoke detector on the ceiling and wall as well. How ever you do not want to install it near a oven, stove, or toaster. This is due to residual cooking causing smoke false alarms. You will want to install your detector several feet or more away from your bathroom as well. Shower steam will interrupt the sensor inside your detector.

Of course you do not want your smoke detector any where near your fireplace as well.

Also keep your smoke detectors away from any wood shops, dust can also trigger false alarms.


Friday, August 19, 2011

Do you have faded window glass

Over time and over heavy use, your windows can accumulate dirt, grease and even tiny scratches, which gives it a faded look. Faded store windows can even compromise your business, customers won't be able to see in. For your home, well it's not the best look. Your best bet is to use a commercial window product, available at most hardware stores.


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Get oil off concrete

You can get a oil leak on your concrete drive at any time from your vehicle. Or even a oil stain from a fish fryer, what ever reason it will be leaving a stain. It doesn't have to be just your driveway it could be your garage floor as well. If you don't clean up the stain, be prepared for it to be there for ever. It can also become a safety hazard or dust gatherer as well.
You will want to apply some absorbent material to your oil spill. This will prevent it from getting worse, before you can really clean it up. As soon as the spill happens the best thing to do is get a roll of paper towels or a old rag and try to absorb the stain. Another option would be to use sawdust or cat litter, and let it sit for 24 hours before cleaning it up. For warm oil you can use paper towels and rags as well. Squirting liquid dish washing soap and some water on it will help also. The soap will surround the oil spill and keep it from solidifying. Of course you can also purchase oil cleanup compound at any automotive store.


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Pulling vine away from brick

Some people like vines growing up the brick of their home, it gives them a fairy tale look. Eventually the vines over grow and cover the entire brick wall. Your longer vines remain attached to your brick, and start to embed their tendrils and roots into the brick or mortar. Old vines are more developed and are capable of weakening your brick or widening the cracks in your brick joints. If you have aged brick this is vulnerable to vine related damage. You will have to remove old vines from your brick to extend your bricks lifespan.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Wheat grass for your pets

Dogs and cats eat grasses to recover from a illness or a injury, even to maintain their health. They can almost survive on a grass diet. However this is not perfect for them. If you have a indoor pet they of course don't have access to grass, so they may start to eat your houseplants. And this can be dangerous for them if they ingest the wrong ones. So why not grow your own tiny indoor garden for them. Wheat grass contains the highest concentration of nutrients for them. Both cats and dogs love it.


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Some common tools to keep on hand

There are a few tools every home owner should keep on hand. They are pretty basic and common to do just about any household repair. Wrenches are the most common, you have box wrenches, adjustable wrenches and socket wrenches. The three will loosen or tighten hexagonal or square sided components. Next is your screwdrivers, they will loosen or tighten many of your household items. A hammer should be in your tool kit also, they will drive nails and pull them as well. You can also use them for demolition. A saw is another great tool to have on hand for cutting not only wood but metal materials. There are different types of saws as well. What ever you choose for your tool kit, these should be just a few to place in it.


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Bedroom Colors

Thinking about painting your bedroom, here are some traditional colors that may help you make a decision. Colors are not just about cream walls, there are new colors that make your bedroom warm and inviting. Colors such as citrus, orange, even lime green are fast becoming popular.

Kids bedrooms are no longer pink for girls, blue for boys. Yellow has become one of the most popular, and can be for girls or boys rooms. Red has also become a favorite of girls and boys, and comes in may hue's.

Your standard white colors also now come in many hues. There are soft whites, cream whites, and whites that can be tinted. Three walls white, and one colored wall, give your bedroom dimension.

For older historical hues, burgundies are great. Midnight blue is another favorite. Blues give your room a feeling of wealth and royalty. Doing three walls paint, and one wall in wall paper gives a whole new look to your bedroom.