About Me

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

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Poinsettias

With the Holidays coming, most people love to decorate with poinsettias. Now a days there are many colors to pick from. Reds, pinks, purples are all available now. You can even mix them up, like red and white to make a peppermint twist. Throw some evergreens in the mix to, for a great center piece. The poinsettias are great to add Holiday cheer at your door, your porch, patio or even in your home. What ever you do with them it will make a welcoming site.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Grainy Ceilings

If you have a ceiling that has a grainy texture, over time it can become dirty or even stained. This type ceiling can be difficult to clean or even repaint. You can take care of this problem by having a professional paint it or paint it your self.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Mice in Mobile Homes

Finding mice any where can be unsettling, even if you find them in your mobile home. Mice do carry disease and leave germs, so who wants them around. But even if you live in a mobile home, you can combat mice. With the right management you can prevent mice from your mobile home, and live mice free.

Keeping mice from getting to any food is the first vital step to take. Keeping your garbage outside is the best way to store it.

If you have any piles around your mobile home of junk items, its best to get rid of it. Keeping piles of junk any where gives mice a place to make their nest. This goes the same for outside items like toys and garden supplies. If you keep them stored away properly, mice will not mess in them.

Keeping your yard neat and clean will help to. Leaves are another place mice like to make their nest in. It also gives them a warm place to give birth to their babies.

Caulk any openings in and outside of your mobile home. This will keep mice from coming in the crevices. Remember mice are small and can get in through small cracks. If you have any holes, say from wiring, stick some steel wool in the holes.

Poisonous bait can be used also, but be careful if you have children or pets.

Check the skirting on your mobile home as well, mice will use this for a entrance into your home.

Just keeping up and cleaning will keep your home rodent free.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Pet Friendly Xmas Trees

If you have pets you will want to keep them safe from your Christmas tree. The first step in doing this is to make sure you cover your tree stand. A skirt for the tree will help prevent your family pet from drinking the water. The water you have in the base can actually make your pet sick. If you see your pets heading for your tree base, lore them away with some treats. If pets get ahold of needles, they can become stuck in your pets throat. Try to keep you decorations that hang on your tree up high so they are not tempted to play with them, this is especially tree for cats. If you pet gets hold of any leaves or berries from mistletoe it can cause their heart or blood pressure to drop. Any ribbons or strings can cause a pet to choke also. If you can try not to use tinsel, dogs can be attracted to it and they can also choke from this. Also tinsel does contain lead. So don't let children put this in their mouth. If any electrial cords are showing, tape them it can cause a pets death if they chew them.
  

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Thanksgiving drink ideas

Along with construction I also have a passion for food and cooking. So I wanted to share some drink ideas, that would go great with your Thanksgiving dinner. Wine, beer, and cocktails, any one of these will work great. For using red wine, a good Pinot Noir works really well with Turkey. If you choose to go with a white wine, a good pairing is Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc. They complaint not only the turkey but the side dishes as well.

Cocktails are always fun to make, and you can include your guests in the fun of helping as well. A good cocktail choose is a aperitif, as well as any gin cocktail, or even a good park avenue cocktail. All go great with turkey.

For after your meal tea is a great way to go. It pairs well with turkey to. Black teas are the best choice, like your Ceylon.

Which ever drink you go with, it will be great with your meal.

Happy Holidays
   

Friday, November 18, 2011

It's Winter where's the bugs

We know that during the winter months, bears hibernate, but did you know insects overwinter. Larvae for example burrow into their shelters, like leaves or mulch to keep warm during winter months. Nymphs may live under the ice surface of a pond during the winter. Pupae on the other hand will come out in the spring as a adult.

For insects, the purpose of overwintering is to find some warmth, in order to make it through the winter. The insect goes into what is called diapause, which halts its growth. During this time the insect goes through either physiological or biochemical changes, in for it to survive. The insect can tell when the days begin to grow longer, as in when its spring time.

There are even insects that migrate, like the Monarch butterfly. This insect can only survive in warm temps.

You also have insects that make their winter homes in our homes. They may choose our homes eaves, our siding, or cracks or crevices they can find.

The cluster fly, which some think is a house fly can cause much consternation for residents. These flies survive the winter months and can be a pest.

To control indoor emergence of overwintering pest, prevention can be done. Go over your home any seal any cracks or crevices. Caulk your doors and windows and any pipes. Any siding that has cracks needs to be caulked. The same with your foundation. Check your eaves and roofs, and also repair any torn screens.

Doing this will help in the spring, when insects are ready to come out in full bloom.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Sandpaper

When you have a woodworking project, you at some point will need sandpaper. And you will need the proper sandpaper for your project. You need to select not only the right paper but the right grit. If you are using the wrong paper, you could cause damage to your project.
 
The paper is graded by the number of the abrasive particles it has per inch. When the number is low that means the grit is the most coarse.
 
Then you have your grades, of sand paper. They are commercial and industrial. The difference in the two are what materials are used for the grit.
 
Next you have your abrasives. There are five types of sand papers in this category.
 
So make sure to choose your sand paper wisely.
 
 
 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Green tips for Home

One of the greenest ways to save on heat, is a warm sweater, yes by wearing a warm sweater. When you dress warm, you can keep your thermostat at the 60 something range, and feel nice and warm at the same time. This can save up to almost 20 percent on your energy bill.

Have ceiling fans, well they can help also with saving, just by flipping the little black switch, will help to circulate the warm air, since it will rise.

Remember those little gadgets grand mom used to knit and sat them at the bottom of the doors. Well don't laugh, they help to keep any drafts from coming in. Don't have one, roll up and towel and it will work just as well.



 

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Clogged Toilet

Sooner or later it happens to all of us, the clogged toilet. Thankfully, due to a good plunger, this problem is a quick fix. But if you use the wrong type of plunger, the problem is not going to go away.

The flange type plunger is what you need for the toilet.
The bowl shape of your toilet will require this type. This is shaped so when placed in the toilet the plunger will create a good seal to do the unclogging. This is done by the good vacuum and pressure of this type of plunger.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Cleaning up Doggie Accidents

If you have a dog, it will at some point have a accident on your carpet. The way you take care of cleaning it, will determine if your pet will go there again. It may look clean to you, but to your dogs nose, well he can still smell his own scent. And in that case, he will make a deposit there again. In order to remove the smell you must use a enzymatic cleaner. What these are, is cleaners that contain bacteria and enzymes that ill digest all the proteins in the pets waste. Therefore neutralizing the order, and not masking it. You can make your own cleaner, store bought cleaners have ammonia and this makes the problem even bigger. Pet urine already contains ammonia, and using store bought products only makes the smell stronger for louring the pet back to the same spot. Steam cleaning is not a solution either, the heat sets the stain permanently into your carpet. The best way to rid the smell is to soak the spot with your enzyme cleaner for ten minutes. Then blot it up and allow the spot to dry. This may need to be done twice, depending on the spot. The stain may be removed with liquid dish soap, warm water, and vinegar.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Child Proofing Tips

If you have children you know how important it is to child proof your home or apartment. The first thing you want to do is to make sure your children can not get out of the home or apartment, or get into rooms that have not been child proofed yet.

If you have little ones, door knob covers come in handy, they prevent those little hands from getting a grip to turn the door knob and open the door. They are a good choice for all the doors in your home or apartment.

Closet doors are another place little ones can get in to and get hurt, so placing the knob covers there will help with this problem. The one down fall is if you have a lever type door handle, these type of handles are hard to child proof.

Don't forget those cabinet doors, they pose unsafe grounds for children also. Make sure especially in the bathroom and kitchen that these cabinets are secure. For this to be safe you can install interior latch's or external locks.

Also you can install interior draw locks to prevent wondering hands into any drawers in the kitchen. Also for kitchen safety don't for get those burners, get burner covers, and a oven tip safety feature to prevent accidents.

There are also latches for toilet seats, and other appliances in your home to prevent little ones from opening them.

Then you have the stairs in the home or apartment, safety gates here will help to prevent children from falling or climbing up the stairs. Safety gates can be placed in doorways also, from keeping the little ones from going into rooms completely.

In high rise apartments or second floor windows in homes, window guards are a great idea to have installed. No one wants to have a child fall out a window.

If your home has a fireplace, make sure you have it secure so your little one can not get close and get burned.

Also some other tips include making sure your hot water is not to hot, check the temp of your hot water heater. Smoke detectors on all levels of your home or apartment is another great safety feature. Carbon monoxide detectors near bedrooms, and electrical outlet covers are another safety tip to keep little ones safe.

If your furniture has hard corners, you may want to place some type of cushion on the ends. Try also to avoid glass end tables or glass coffee tables until the children are much older.

If you use blinds you may want to shorten or cut the cords so your child can not reach it. Also if you have furniture that can tip over, why not secure it to the wall.

Although accidents happen, you can try to avoid them with these simple steps.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

What is MDF

The other day I had a customer ask me what is MDF. Well what MDF is, is a manufactured wood product, that is composed of wood fibers. They are then mixed with resin and also with wax, then pressed into the flat panels you buy. What you use it for is the same as if you we're using plywood. It is used often in buildings. It is not like your particleboard, the two are often mistaken for one another. When using MDF, you will find that it cuts very well, and has a very smooth surface to it. This makes it a great product when it needs to be painted. Most contractors use MDF find it is best to cut this wood out doors, since it makes alot of dust. The one disadvantage is, if unfinished MDF gets any exposure to moisture it will swell, and will then lose its strength. MDF, is also known as a medium density fiberboard. Just ask your salesperson to help you when going to purchase some.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Holidays on a Budget

We all know that times are tough for alot of people right now. And with the Holiday's coming the pressure is felt more by them, than maybe others. But on a budget or not you can still have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Just with a few simple ideas you can have a wonderful decorated home and a hefty meal without paying tons.
 
It really isn't about the decor, Thanksgiving is really all about family and being together for a good time, and a good meal. For the table as far as decor, you can use simple things like a bowl of fruit and pine cones from the backyard. Just placing some branches in a tall vase makes a wonderful arrangement. Acorns in a glass jar and some candles is another table decor idea. If you have any left over pumpkins they to with some acorns and pine cones can make a eye catching table centerpiece.
 
For a hefty meal that will not cost you a fortune, how about making the dinner a family effort. If everyone brings a dish, before you know it you have a family feast fit for a king. Need stuffing, how about using that day old bread, instead of throwing it out. For the bird alot of stores now have free turkeys for spending a certain amount, so check the bottom of your receipt. Don't go over board on pies that can be costly, try making some cookies with the kids shaped into pumpkins and candy corn.
 
Get everyone involved and have a wonderful and decorative Thanksgiving. Make it a family affair.
 
 

 

Sunday, November 06, 2011

The Power is Out

It's been happening alot in the past two months on the East coast. Storms knocking out power for days. For your refrigerator, this means loosing all your food. And this can be very costly. But if you have a gas generator, this is a option for you. All you need to do is make sure you have the correct size to power your fridge.
 
You are going to have to place your generator out doors, its not a safe machine to run in the home due to the carbon monoxide fumes. Make sure though that your generator is protected from the elements.
 
 
Before starting your generator, make sure the tanks are full of fuel. Also it is probably best to check all the other fluids as well.
 
Start your generator and let it run for a few minutes before you begin using the power.
 
You will have to run your fridge cord outside to the generator in order to use it. You know everything is fine if the refrigerator light is on and your condenser motor is running.
 

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Apartment Gardens

For the avid gardener who lives in a apartment community, can be somewhat frustrating. But with a little more creativity a beautiful garden can be made. All apartments with balcony's make this a easy task, and size is no bother.

With a little research on plants, the apartment gardener can create a shade garden. You just need to do a little shopping for plants that do great under balconies or canopies. Bleeding hearts are one choice you can go with.

Want some privacy, well how about growing it. If you place your plants just right you will block any view from the street or sidewalk. Using low plants and tall plants will give you a nice privacy fence and add charm to your balcony.

Just because you live in a apartment does not mean you can't grow veggies. Lots of veggies will grow in containers, so don't let the small space keep you from growing your own veggies. Herbs also do well as a container garden product.

You can also fit in some twinkle lights, and small water fountains, and make your balcony a place where you want to sit.




Friday, November 04, 2011

Kerf Chainsaw

Any country dweller can not live without their chainsaw. They use it for many things, especially fire wood. During the winter storms, it is the most important tool they have for any trees that feel.

What is a kerf chainsaw, well the kerf is actually the channel that is left by the chainsaw as it is cutting wood. Any chainsaw bar and chain will determine the width. If your chainsaw has a narrow kerf it is a light duty chainsaw or most likely a electric power chainsaw. These are really only good for trimming or doing light landscaping work. This type of chainsaw will not in any way stand up to cutting a tree.

So if you live in the country unless you are doing landscaping, you want to avoid this type of chainsaw.


Thursday, November 03, 2011

Recycle your old wood

When it comes to wood, you can use that old timber for new uses. Give it a chance in your kitchen for elegant counter tops, or how about the living room for a new floor look. You can have it reused by a professional, or do it your self for a weekend project. If it has any imperfections, that's even better, for a rustic look. There are many uses for old wood, from counter tops to making a kitchen table. Look in your local phone book for some carpenters and ask what they do with their scarps, and make them your treasure.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Rust and Tile

Glad your back Evielynne!

OK, lets get started. You have a tile surface, and it has a rust stain. You don't have to panic, with several options you can get the rust stain out. The best thing to do first is to try a natural method, if that doesn't work there are always commercial cleaners.

One way to get the rust stain out of your tile is to use a abrasive cleaner. Just rub gently because this method can damage the tile finish, especially if the tile is marble.

Another method is the pumice bar. These volcanic rocks are mild and just may do the trick.

The next tip is white vinegar and salt paste. These are ingredients right in your kitchen.

Lemon juice from a fresh lemon and salt is another abrasive cleaner you can make yourself.

The last option is to purchase a commercial cleaner.

Hope you find these tips helpful.


Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Terracotta Roofs

If your home has a terracotta roof, and it's having a issue, everything under lying can be destroyed. Your terracotta is very resilient, as long as you make sure its weathertight. If you do suspect a leak, a good sealant can be used.