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

Monday, October 31, 2011

Snow Plowing

The snowy season is almost upon us. And if you live in a cold climate state, you know the complexity of clearing snow from your driveway, or even your lot. Even if you have a plow, you know that snow can be heavy to push. Not being aware of this, can get you into trouble. Your plow can not only get stuck, but can break pieces of the equipment. Snow plowing isn't easy for first timers, it takes some practice. With the right amount of practice you will get the job done efficiently without doing any damage to your plowing equipment.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Window air

If you look at your windows and you have what looks like a extra pane, you have double glazed glass. Now a,days you can even get windows in triple glazed panes. What these extra glass panes do is creates air between each one. These types of windows are more energy efficient. They also help to reduce sound. You can also get the windows if various widths, and also with gas instead of air.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Weekend Project

If you have a free weekend, and have a outdated kitchen, why not do a counter top overlay project. You can create a new look on your counter tops just by installing a new one right over the old.

Counter top overlays fit just about all budgets, and by doing the work you save even more money. And whats even better, the whole project can be done over one weekend.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


There is nothing more romantic, than sitting by a fireplace, maybe sipping on some wine, with someone you love. But if your fireplace was not constructed well, that could mean disaster.

It is important to make sure all the internal components are properly installed. Make sure your damper and or smoke shelf is in proper working order.

It is also important to make sure your chimney is clean and free of debris.

Make sure also that your fireplace surround and your hearth are up to building codes. Also any external furnishing's must be up to par.

Do all this and your evening of romance will be a safe one.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Landscape Tips

Timbers are in for landscaping, providing a soft look that is not only natural but adds to the blossoms and the foliage of your yard. These timbers are made so there is no rot. If laid side by side they make a nice looking walkway. When plastic edging is used as the perimeter it cuts down the amount of weeds and grass that will come between the timbers.
Another great landscaping tip is to use baffles. Baffles are small terraces that go horizontally across sloped hills. They are there to help hold any soil, or even mulch around your landscaped area. Baffles will also help with any erosion problems you may have. Again using plastic edging is helpful here. Baffles can be stone even brick, but using these materials should be placed by a professional. The best plants for baffle areas would be low growing perennials and also any ground covering plants.
Since erosion can be caused by having drainage problems, you can control the problem with installing some drainage pipes. If you have a property that slopes this can effect your landscaping. The problem with erosion in your landscaping is that it not only removes any soil, it damages the plants you have, and can even cause them to die. Another great tip for areas with erosion issues is to plant some turf grass.
This is a great book with helpful landscaping tips

Monday, October 24, 2011

What is your question

Do you have a remodeling question? I would love to know and answer your questions. Let me know yours.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Bath Safety

Most falls in a home happen in the bathroom. This is due to all the slippery surfaces that pose this hazard. But installing a safety device, like a grab bar can help with this risk.

For the elderly, this is a great safety precaution. It helps prevent falls and helps with the motor control of the elderly. It can also help them with their balance when needed.

The grab bar will need to be installed in the right place also. A grab bar can be installed not only on the inside of the tub, but on the outside as well. Safety bars near the toilet are also helpful to certain peoples needs.

Mats on the floor as well as the inside of the tub will help to prevent falls. If your tile in the bathroom is to slippery, you may want to change it to a more rough tile.

This is just a few ways to prevent and promote bathroom safety.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Tin Oxide

Marble may seem hard to clean, but it really isn't. Marble's surface has large and small pores, and plenty of them. The surface of marble is really unsealed also. So anything that gets spilled onto it will seep deep into the cracks and can be hard to clean up. You have to be careful what is used to clean marble also, because the cleaner can also become embed. However tin oxide will clean many products that are usually spilled on marble, such as coffee, tea even wine. In the store tin oxide is known as Putty Powder.


Friday, October 21, 2011

Barn Roofs

We often talk about roof's for homes and office's, but there are other structures to talk about also. And today it's about roof's for barn's. Since barns are a great essential part of a farm, it is just as important for a good roof. A barn after all protects not only machinery, but live stock. So as with a home or office, the type of roof will depend on the farm owners desires.

Your most common barn roof is called a gable. It is a one peak roof with two roof sides that are joined. Another type is your gambrel roof, this has different slopes and or angles on each peak. This is a more dramatic looking roof, and gives the barn more storage and headroom. Then there is the hip roof, which is a four sided roof. This works best with a barn that is single storied. This type of roof does not require siding like the gambrel or like the gable. Also the hip roof is the less expensive to install.

Other roofs include what is called a shed roof. This is the most easiest roof to construct. But it does have its faults, it doesn't have a lot of load bearing capacity to it. If the area gets alot of snow fall in the winter months this roof will not hold up. Next is the pyramid hip roof, which is compared to the hip roof. This type of roof holds up well in areas that get alot of snow. A roof that has different slopes and side lengths is called a salt box barn roof. This roof has a short side, which is a great covering for doors. You also have a round roof, this is found in most barns of Europe. Shaped like a half circle, it is very hard to construct. But it has the best headroom of all the roofs.


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Your yard in the fall

It does not matter where you live in the U.S, if it's fall you have yard work to do. Everyone will be winterizing their landscapes, cleaning up leaves and a variety of things to get ready for the next spring.

Fall is the time people clean up dead branches, clean up leaves, and get the lawn ready for new growth. Fall is also the time for pruning, depending on your bush's and plants. Pruning should always be done before the first frost. This will let your new growth harden before the harsh winters. Of course your fall cleanup will depend on what area of the U.S you live in.

Certain perennials and ornamental grass, will need to be cut back, this will help them to regenerate in the spring.

Fall is also the time for new planting. And is also a time of beautiful colors. You can enjoy mums and many other plants in the fall.

Planting grass seed in the fall is also better for, better growth in the spring. Its also a time to wonder if you would like to add any additional plants to your existing landscaping.

Clean up, sit back, and enjoy all the wonderful colors when your done.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011


It does not happen to often, but it does. A moth or moth's get into our homes. If this happens, destruction can occur to our textiles and our clothes. Many fear moth's and therefore don't want to touch them. So there are ways to rid them, without using our hands directly. Here are just a few ways to do that.
If your lights are on, turn them off, this way the moths will leave the area, they are drawn to light.
Let them leave on their own, open closet doors, and dresser drawers, and let them escape through a open window.
Take moth infested materials outside, and shake them off. Hanging them outside over night will rid those moths and the larvae as well.
Freezing your garmets will also help to rid and kill not only the moth's but their larvae. Also washing any garmets in really hot water will give you the same results.
The old fashion way is to use mothballs. These can be poisionus to your pets so be careful. Place the mothballs in tight infested areas. Using these will also kill moths, and will prevent others from dropping in.


Tuesday, October 18, 2011


When you apply mulch to your shrubs, even around your foundation, it gives your home a nice curb appeal. It also creates a barrier between spaces of your yard. But best of all it conserves water, and helps to keep your plants happy and healthy. In winter months, the mulch will also help to keep your soil where it is applied warmer, and in the same area cooler in the hotter months.
There are a wide variety of mulch's to choose from. Pick the one that best suits your home as well as your landscape. You can choose from pine needles to pebbles, it is all in the nature of what will suit your home and yard. There is also mulch that comes in colors, like red or black. So it's all in the eye of the beholder.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Fall Leaves

The blaze of Autumn is breath taking. But when it covers your yard with leaves, well the beauty ends there. So what does one do with all those leaves?
Well you could recycle them. You can use them for many craft projects. Also they come in handy for fillers in gift baskets. And also they make great backgrounds in collages.
When using the leaves make sure to clean them before using them for indoor craft projects. Make sure they are dry before using them also. They make great decorations hot glued on objects such as baskets, and lamps.
During October, the leaves make wonderful Halloween decorations. Filling large bags, with the leaves you can create huge pumpkins. This is a great way to recycle at the same time.
There's also using the leaves for fun, how about jumping into a pile of them with the kids. After your done, you can turn the leaves into mulch for your plants.



Sunday, October 16, 2011

Great Books to have

Got a problem with grout? Open The Complete Photo Guide to Home Repair (to page 98) and watch your tiling worries dissolve before the simple beauty of photography. Black & Decker has anticipated your every question and problem with interior, exterior, and home systems repairs, and detailed the solutions in just over 500 pages. In no other human endeavor is a visual guide so important as home repair (well, maybe brain surgery), so this is a crucial aid to the handyperson. Easy-to-find sections on floors, insulation, roofing, chimneys, water heaters, wall switches, air conditioning, and much more are well-designed, brilliantly illustrated, and carefully outlined with step-by-step instructions from masters. The photos in particular are extremely valuable, offering many different views (sometimes even exploded) of the operation in question, and always showing just enough to communicate without overwhelming the reader with too much detail. These alone would be worth the price of the book, but the written explanations and instructions are also very helpful, offering tools, materials lists, and hints that wouldn't occur to the amateur. The book finishes with a maintenance schedule to help you keep repairs from becoming serious, and the end papers have conversion charts and tables that you'll use time and again. If you can't have Norm the master carpenter over to help you fix your old house, The Complete Photo Guide to Home Repair is the next best thing. --Rob Lightner --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

The indispensable reference guide for every homeowner, guaranteed to help you maintain and improve your home while saving time and money. Covering everything from replacing faulty faucets and showerheads to curing the quirks of an air conditioner, this book provides step-by-step illustrated instructions, plus a comprehensive chapter on tools. Includes more than 3,000 instructional photographs, illustrations, charts, and diagrams. Let New Fix-It-Yourself Manual guide you through: * Fixing a broken dryer by testing the thermostat, thermal fuse, heating coils, etc. * Troubleshooting electric and gas range problems and fixing them * Reupholstering and reweaving chair seats * Stocking up on the proper tools and supplies for fixing electronics * Installing, testing, and repairing speakers, including maintaining proper polarity * Repairing broken handbags and suitcases properly and professionally * Fixing small engines in yard and workshop tools * Restoring broken air conditioners, heaters, and dehumidifiers * Safely disassembling, testing, and repairing a chain saw

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Boys Bedroom Idea

There are many boys who love Hockey, so why not create them a hockey themed bedroom.
Use colors from their favorite team, and paint the walls, and get the colors in their bedding. A two tone effect of team colors on the walls is another transition you can make. You may also include murals or decals to place on the wall of their favorite team or player.
For your child's bed, how about making a goal headboard. A real goal will fit a twin or full size bed in it to serve as your hockey goal headboard. Once you put your bed into it, the hockey goal set will surround the bed, on the top you can hang helmets, for more decor.
Use hockey equipment to decorate the walls, like using the sticks, criss crossed on the wall. Online maybe you can even find some vintage sticks to use. Also use anything that is hockey related, photos artwork etc.
Also photos of your favorite players framed and hung on the walls look great. Also some hockey jersey's make great wall hangings.
Your child will love his new hockey room.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Your firebox

If you need to replace your firebox there are several ways for you to do this. If your fireplace is very expensive you may want to call a professional. But if you have a functional box you can replace this yourself. Before you attempt this make sure your firebox is a prefab. Due to the fact that prefab's have panels that can be replaced.
It is also recommended that you contact a professional before you start also and confirm that your box is not part of your structural fire code.
If you get the go ahead, then go ahead and get your replacement parts.


Thursday, October 13, 2011

A faux look

For interior even exterior walls you can give any area a great look with faux stone or brick look. It's not a easy job, but well worth it in the end. With simple tools like paint, brushes and a sponge you can design any stone or brick faux look you desire.

With painters tape you can create your squares to make a stone wall look. You can also make perfect lines where needed.

Play with colors to get the look you want. You can create the look of your wall any way you wish, you don't need any guides. You also create your grout look, with your painting skills.

Have fun and be creative.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Driveway oil stains

Any one who has a driveway is going to at some point get a oil stain on it. It doesn't matter how it got there, but how you are going to get it out. Because left over time, you are going to have a unsightly looking driveway.
To start you can apply some absorbent material to the oil, and this should stop it from getting worse.
A warm oil that emulsifies will also be of big help.
At any automotive store you can also find a dry compound.
But you can also try this method. In a bucket mix some warm water with dish soap. You want to then scrub the stain with a nylon brush. Take some clean rags and start to absorb the soapy solution. Then apply cat litter or even sawdust to the area. Let it sit for a few and then sweep away. You may need to re do this method several times until your stain is gone.


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Todays Product

An improperly installed roof can lead to extensive damage. But now homeowners can learn how to do the job right with Smart Guide: Roofing. It shows readers how to install all of the most popular roofing materials correctly and efficiently. Through easy-to-follow, illustrated instructions, readers learn how to estimate the amount of materials needed for the job, install roofing and flashing, and find and fix roof leaks. Tips provide important information to those looking to hire a contractor. Additional chapters address ladder and rooftop safety and proper attic and roof ventilation.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Microwave Odors

As your microwave gets older, it can start to smell, sometimes like something is burnt. Did you know why this happens? It is because over time the plastic that is inside starts to absorb food odors.

These odors can be taken care of with some simple cleaning steps. Take a microwavable bowl and add one cup of water, then add two tsps of baking soda. Then just place the bowl into your microwave and cook for three minutes. Doing this should absorb the odors, and it will also loosen dry food that may be inside.

If you have a plate inside your microwave take it out and clean it with hot soapy water. Also wipe the inside of the microwave with a soapy rag.

If you can not get the smell out, try mixing a 1/4 of bleach with one quart of water and wipe your microwave down with this mixture. Make sure to rinse the inside with a clean wet rag.

Mixing one part lemon juice to two parts water into a microwave bowl, and cooking for five minutes will also help with the odors.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Your home and Lightning

If your home is ever hit by a lightning strike, it could do some damage to not only your electrical system but to your electronic devices as well. However if your home is protected with a lightning protection system, you could avoid this risk.

Air terminals, also known as lightning rods are a great way to protect your home from lightning strikes. These are placed at the most highest point of your home.

Another way to protect your home is called grounding systems. These are cooper stakes that are placed into the ground.

There are also varistor surge protectors that can be installed, via your electrical service.

These are just some ideas to help you if you decide to protect your home against lightning strikes.


Saturday, October 08, 2011

Today's product pick

  • Quickly recovers from periods of heat and drought
  • Grows 33-percent thicker than ordinary tall fescue
  • Contains Scotts exclusive Thermal Blue Kentucky Bluegrass
  • Aggressively spreads to repair thin and bare spots
Scotts Turf Builder Grass Seed contains our exclusive WaterSmart coating that absorbs 100-percent more water than uncoated seed and keeps it moist twice as long to help prevent it from drying out - even if you miss a day of watering.

Friday, October 07, 2011

Click Lock Flooring

What is click lock flooring? It means it is free floating, it is not nailed into place, or glued into place. It means that the boards for the flooring just snap together. Then the edges are held down by the floors trim. If you have this type of flooring, and a board gets damaged, it is a easy fix. These types of floors are easy to take apart, for repair replacement.

The first step to do a repair, is to take a pry bar and remove any trim that is around the area.

Next wiggle loose the boards that are closest to your damaged area. Lay the boards down, that you remove in order that you removed them. This will allow for a easy re-install.

When you finally reach the damaged board, remove and replace it. It's that easy.

All that is left is putting the floor back together, in the same order you removed it. When you are finished with that process, re nail your trim, and enjoy your repaired floor.

This is a good reference book to have on hand.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Shower Glass

If you have glass shower doors, you are going to see a transparent film on the surface. Now you can clean them with natural cleaners, that you can make from products already in your home.
A window squeegee will help keeping soap scum and other grime from your glass shower doors. It may sound like alot of work, but if you use the squeegee after a shower, it will help. You will notice the buildup won't be as much, or will be gone.
Using plain old dish soap works wonderful for getting rid of soap scum. You can clean the soap scum with the dish soap right on a sponge, or make yourself a solution in a spray bottle. After you clean your glass doors with the dish soap all you will need to do is rinse the door clean.
If you want to make yourself a good disinfectant, white vinegar is the way to go. White vinegar is great for glass, and helps remove hard water spots. Making a 50/50 cleaning solution of the white vinegar and water is all you will need, there is no need for rinsing afterwards.
Good old baking soda is wonderful for any stains that are hard to remove. All that you need is a good scrubbing pad and your baking soda. You use it like you would your abrasive cleaner. You will however, need to rinse and dry your glass shower doors. The good thing about using the baking soda is, it will leave a clean smell in your bathroom.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Home Improvement Books

I want to share some great books with my readers on Home Improvement.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Bostitch Nailer

Nail down siding in no time with the powerful, precise Bostitch N66C-1 Coil Siding Nailer. This lightweight tool features a magnesium housing that makes it durable enough to repeatedly withstand the rigors of all-day use. And with adjustable nail depth and a soft rubber foot, you can work with a range of siding materials, including soft woods. The N66C-1 Siding Nailer works with any air compressor and has a tool-free adjustable exhaust that directs spent air away from you when you're working.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Greenhouse Winter Heat

What you need to keep your greenhouse warm in the winter months:
  • 55-gallon water barrels, painted black
  • Foam insulation
  • Large wood burning stove
  • Circulation fans
  • Bricks or stones
Greenhouse's collect and trap heat, but in the winter you sometimes need to provide additional heat. Especially in very cold months. Properly orienting a greenhouse structure can help with your auxiliary heat.

The best thing to do for your greenhouse is to fashion it in a east to west position. You want one full length side to be exposed to the southern sky as much as possible. This will use the winter sun to warm your greenhouse. You want to have the back of the greenhouse north to a existing structure like your home or a outbuilding. This gives your greenhouse extra wind protection.

Another option is to use water to store heat. A 55 gallon water barrel in black placed inside the greenhouse will capture the sun's heat. Any heat accumulated during the daytime will release at night, after the temps have dropped.

Its not a bad idea to insulate your greenhouse either. For plastic greenhouse's insulate with a foam sheet. These sheets get placed over your greenhouse at night, and then removed during the day. Installing some extra plastic to the interior will also add additional insulation. For hard structures, double glazed glass is a great greenhouse cover. Insulate your end walls and north wall with a moisture proof foam insulation.

You can also install a wood burning stove, placed in the center of your greenhouse. Making sure the vent goes through the roof, with a metal plate to dissipate any heat. This ensures your plastic will not melt. Large circulation fans near your roof of your greenhouse will help to circulate warm air. You can also stack bricks and stones around your wood stove to create thermal heat.

 This greenhouse is a good deal, and works great.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Left over Varnish

We know that varnish needs special brushes and is difficult to clean up if spilled. But storing it is not as difficult if you know how.
To store your varnish, you should pour all leftovers back into the canister. Then make sure you seal the canister securely.
Make sure if there are any drips on the can to wipe them off.
After cleaning up the can you want to store it in a room that is dark and cool. Don't let the varnish get exposed to direct sunlight. Also the temp should be 50 to 80 at the most. Varnish that gets to cold will solidify. And then it is unusable. If it gets to hot it will combust.
Make sure to keep all flammable items away from your varnish as well.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Wood Stove

The cost of energy is going up, and people are looking for ways to save. So the wood stoves are on the rise again for heating homes. But building the right fire is important. Keeping it burning through the night is a art.
When you have burned through your first load of the kindling, you are left with red hot embers. So you want to rake these embers to the back of your stove near your air inlet.
Now reload your stove with your fire logs. Stacking all the way up to the baffle, but not blocking the airflow inlet. You then want to open your air control all the way, this will remove moisture from your fire logs. Just leave the control open for about fifteen minutes, no longer.
Now shut the draft control and position it on low. This setting varies to your wood stove model.
Doing this should let your fire logs burn through the night.