Best Trees for Indoors

Trees are great things to have in your yard. They clean the air, they give shade and privacy, they are great for climbing and they are beautiful to look at as well. While many trees are just too big to think about growing inside, there are many trees that make wonderful accents to the inside of your home. Here’s just a few:

If you are a fan of the Victorian Era you may have seen pictures or seen movies of the time with parlour palms sprucing up the, well, parlour. The adapt well to low light and humidity and they are on the list of NASA’s 50 Plants That Clean the Air. And face it, they’re breezy and fancy and who wouldn’t want one in their living room in a large ceramic pot?

If you want a touch of Christmas in your home year round, what about a Norfolk Pine? They are essentially baby Christmas trees that love bright light and moist soil. At Christmas time you can decorate them with little bows or fairy lights, but they make a great addition to any room year round.

If you like big bold statements you’ll want a Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree in your living room. These trees have large sculptured leaves that give the air of the tropics without being weepy or wispy. These trees love light but don’t like drafts so keep them away from windows and doors and you’re good to go.

The Ficus is perhaps the most popular indoor tree there is, heck, they even make a fake version that you just dust once in a while and forget about. The real version is actually a weeping fig tree if you want to get technical, and they come in different textures and heights so they’re perfect for any room, any where.

Love the tropics but live where there seems to be perpetual winter? Then what about adding a Majesty Palm to your home? They are fan shaped and have that tropical feel to them and best of all they are slow growing if they aren’t getting strong sunlight. Throw on the heat, watch the palm tree and pretend you’re on the beach, even if it is January and there is a blizzard waging outside.

If you like more of a desert type tree then the Yucca is for you. They have thick woody stems and pointy leaves that come in a variety of blue to blue green colors and have yellow, cream or white tones to them too.

The Truth About Home Repairs

We strive for larger homes but the fact remains that larger the home, greater the number of home repairs. There are several jobs that will need to be attended to around a house, either big or small. Over the years, there are several phases that you will have to go through as part of your home maintenance routine. This is exactly why a lot of homeowners feel that ‘Do It Yourself’ or DIY plans are better than calling in a contractor for every job that needs to get done around the house. But stop that thought right there and think again.

A Stitch In Time Saves Nine

When it comes to repairs within your home, this saying is a very apt one. That carpet that needs to be repaired, that leaky tap that needs to be fixed or that hole in the drywall that needs to be patched up should be attended to on a priority basis. It doesn’t take too long for the carpet to get worn out or torn further, the leaky tap to turn into a miniature Niagara or the tiny hole in the wall to turn into a gaping one. If the issues are not too glaring it is more feasible for you to wait for a bit and then call in a handyman and have him handle more than just one job in a single visit.

Easy On The Pocket

Most handymen charge for their services by the hour and it becomes more cost-effective for you to bunch up the tasks rather than have them come in for individuals ones. If you decide against calling in for specialized help for these jobs around the house and decide to handle them yourself, chances are that you will put them off for later. Jobs like this have a tendency of piling up and can prove to be a bigger drain if they pile up or the issues get aggravated due to the delay. Apart from this, some issues are too tricky for you to handle all by yourself. In most cases you will find that a handyman can handle certain jobs as skillful and efficiently as specialized contractors can and the latter charge close to three times the amount that the former will charge you for the same job

When To Choose The Handyman Over The Contractor

The cost-effectiveness factor comes into play here as well since once a handyman is called in, he can also attend to other small issues around the house. However, it is important to understand that jobs such as plumbing and electrical ones are best taken care of by licensed and trained personnel. Some companies provide you with comprehensive services and packages. Check the credibility of the person who will be handling the work and preferably use the services of a reputed home improvement company for all your repair and renovation needs.

The Important Pros and Cons of Vinyl Siding

If you are on the market for new home siding, it is no surprise that you are considering vinyl. Vinyl plastic exterior has been a long-time favorite for both residential and commercial properties, and for many reasons. Although there are a few drawbacks you need to think about, this material is almost always a safe investment. Continue reading to review some of the common pros and cons of vinyl siding.

Pros

Vinyl siding is mostly admired for its extreme versatility. It comes in a wide range of colors, styles, textures, and more, which makes customizing the look of your home an easy task. Aside from versatility, vinyl is very low maintenance. Caring for it is simple, and there is very little you need to do to make it last a long time. Furthermore, installation is quick and easy, and the cost comparison to other options on the market is very low. It is one of the most affordable choices for residential siding you can buy.

  • Very durable;
  • Lasts between 30 and 40 years with good care;
  • Endless color options and schemes;
  • Very low maintenance;
  • Easy to clean and care for;
  • Insulated options increase energy efficiency;
  • Cheapest siding option on the market;

Cons

There are not many drawbacks to vinyl siding, however, there are a few attributes that are important for you to know in order to make an educated decision. For instance, it is not waterproof. Although it is water-resistant, poor installation can let water leak behind the panels and cause rot, mold, and mildew. Also, many homeowners have complained that the color option is too permanent with vinyl siding. Whatever color you choose, it will always be that color. That is because plastic exterior siding cannot be repainted like other siding materials.

Another common con to this material is the potential for the boards to warp, bend, or dent. This can happen from a string impact or extreme summer heat. Homeowners also complain that whole panels must be replaced because there is no patchwork in vinyl siding. Some additional common complaints about vinyl siding include:

  • 90% of homes have vinyl siding, so it’s not always the most unique;
  • Lawn mowers, weed trimmers, and even high winds can rip panels off;
  • Faulty installation can lead to water leaks, rot, mold, and decay;
  • It can crack in extreme cold weather, and warp in hot weather;

Handyman and Home Repair Services

As a homeowner you are aware that something always needs fixing around the house. You may need a wall painted, a new appliance installed, or the roof fixed. If you don’t have the time or capability to do this on your own, you may need the home repair services of a handyman.

The home repair service business is now a major industry. That’s because many people prefer to call a handyman or skilled tradesman to do minor home repairs. Older or retired people living alone often require the services of a handyman. Of course, there are do-it-yourself who are perfectly capable of doing repair and maintenance work at home. However, even DIY enthusiasts may need the skills of a plumber or electrician for more complicated tasks.

Handyman vs. Home Improvement Specialists

A handyman and a home improvement specialist can both operate their own businesses but the home improvement specialist is required to have a contractor’s license. This is why hiring a contractor to do the same thing will cost more than if a handyman were to do the job. This is also why licensed professionals sometimes turn down smaller home repair jobs. If you need someone to paint a room, install new shelves or repair a dry wall, call a handyman. To build a new addition to your home or repair a staircase, you will need the home repair services of a licensed carpenter or contractor.

Home Repair Jobs for a Handyman

A handyman is a more affordable and convenient option for small household repairs. He is a jack-of-all-trades who can perform small maintenance and repair jobs that a carpenter, plumber or electrician would normally do, but at a lower cost. A handyman is good with his hands. He is usually self-taught, having gained his experience and know-how at his own home and by reading home improvement manuals.
Replacing your entire plumbing system or more complicated electrical wiring should be done by a licensed professional.

However, you can hire a handyman to perform simple tasks such as emptying storm drains, fixing a leaky faucet or putting up shelves. A handyman can also handle more complicated tasks such as installing a water heater or replacing roof shingles.

Where to Find a Handyman

Many handymen work on their own, setting up “office” in their own homes. People you know may be able to recommend a good handyman for home repair services. You can also search online for a handyman in your area. There are many businesses and franchises for handyman services. You can call on them if you need any repair or maintenance services at home.

Home Improvement is Best Left For the Professional

Many people now prefer a DIY home improvement which they think can save much money. But some people hold the opinion that home improvement is best left for these professionals. Highly skilled and experienced, they can give your home a perfectly new look. But you should be wary which kind of contractor you hire.

Without the help of a contractor, the homeowner will feel indirect and do not know where and how to start. Many homeowners who have backgrounds in home improvement will seek the help of the professional, for the idea from a professional really can make difference.

These contractors have experience and practice which homeowners do not possess, even those with backgrounds performing this type of work. These qualities can leave each job in the best shape. Unfortunately, many homeowners do not realize the value of a professional, skilled job. They do this tough job by themselves partially because they want to save money, partially because they do not believe these contractors.

These homeowners are likely to fail in improving their home, for they always start without the comprehensive knowledge. Many homeowners are jumping into home improvement projects they have no idea how to handle. Hiring a skilled professional to do the work will usually end in delight for the homeowner as they are left with a great looking job for a pretty affordable price.

Certainly, there are many dishonest contractors out there; therefore, you should be careful to find a good one who will keep the client’s interest in mind. If you just make some changes on your home design, you should better find a smaller company, instead of a larger one. Smaller companies often will give a home more care and attention, while the larger company usually focuses on the larger projects for they think the small project do not deserve their attention.

Do not hire a contractor who does not seem to take your project seriously. Whatever the project, it is a big deal to the homeowner. They hope for a good result. So it is important to find a contractor who takes a special interest in your project and give much care and attention to your projects to ensure a desirable outcome.

Home Improvement Projects

When people are faced with dusting off the old tool belt and buckling it up once more, they may feel intimidated by the amount of work that lay before them. One may feel overwhelmed with the amount of work they must put in to these improvement projects that seem rather insignificant. Procrastination often ensues and the projects go untouched for even longer, further hurting the appearance or even healthiness of one’s home.

Home improvement projects do not have to be such a hassle and do not have to burden the homeowner one bit if the proper amount of careful planning is implemented to help alleviate some of this burden. Planning could refer to determining each step in the project before beginning. This is always a wise thing to do, especially if the homeowners plan on performing the work themselves. However, most homeowners do not possess the proper skill or know-how to complete these jobs effectively and efficiently. They often end up making a mess of the situation and can even fix things until they are actually broken. We have all seen the ‘handy’ dad in TV and film, in which he claims to know what he is doing, but often screws up a project beyond recognition, requiring the services of a professional handyman or contractor to complete their simple home improvement project.

Unfortunately, this is not that uncommon of an occurrence in the real world either. Hiring a contractor to perform the home improvement projects around your house will often save you both time and money. It will also ensure that the project is done right and effectively.

Home Repair Training For Christmas?

Absolutely! Why not give a gift that will last for years to come? Home repair training can not only give someone skills and know how for their own use, but skills which are easily marketable as well. In these lean times, giving a gift of a second income is giving a great gift indeed.

Christmas is the time we celebrate the life of a carpenter, and our savior. Christ said to give a man a fishing pole, rather than a fish, that he may eat for a lifetime. Home repair training is a great fishing pole, is it not? With the skills learned, a person can solve their own home repair problems, as well as solve those of his neighbors for a reasonable profit, thereby they can eat for a lifetime, so to speak.

Training of any kind is a perfect gift because it is so portable; knowledge goes where ever you go. It doesn’t take up any space, either. Training will allow a person to go anywhere, and make their own living when they get there. I have used the knowledge I have in 48 states and 17 countries. Things break everywhere, and someone has to fix them.

Home repair skills lead to home improvement skills too. Before you know it you’ll be able to build things you never thought you could before, projects once beyond reach become a matter of just doing them in your spare time.

There is no better gift for a person than training, and home repair training is a gift that will give back a hundred fold.