Svetlana Sheinina

Posted by Svetlana Sheinina on 7/30/2019

You cannot walk through a hardware store or do-it-yourself warehouse on the weekend without someone wanting to sell you new windows. When the weather warms up, expect to have them come knocking at your door too. If you are a new homeowner, you might fall prey to their sales tactics. But how do you know for sure when your windows need replacing? This guide can clue you in.

You need new windows when Ö

  • Your window has cracks, chips, or broken glass. This might seem like an easy decision, but sometimes those cracks and chips are hard to see. Carefully inspecting clean windows gives you the best opportunity to see small cracks and chips. While they may seem stable in that condition, a quick change in the outside temperature or an extreme difference from inside to outdoor may cause the crack to enlarge or the chip to become a crack.
  • The glass is warped. In a historic house, the vintage glass may have curves or warps, and the former homeowners may have filled in the space with putty. However, in a modern home, it means the glass is not fitting into the frame. When the glass does not fit properly, it could fall out, or cause a leak.
  • The inside of the window is foggy or filmy. Double-paned windows create insulation via the gas in-between the panes. If there is fog or film inside the window, it means that there is a leak, and moisture has entered that space. Your windows may leak to the inside or the outside.
  • The sash sticks. When window frames warp or bend, the window is hard to open or close. Windows that stick closed need repair or replacement immediately since they can become a deadly hazard in a house fire.
  • Your energy bill is high. Sometimes, your windows are excellent, and high energy usage has other causes, but it never hurts to get an energy assessment from your local utility if they offer one. If your windows are part of the problem either because they have broken and leak, or because they are single-paned and not rated for energy efficiency, you need to replace them. 
  • They weathered a recent storm. Often, hail, high wind, and heavy rain damage homes in ways you can not always see. If tornado winds or hurricane-force weather impacted your home, contact your insurance provider to have your home inspected by an insurance adjuster experienced with storm damage.
  • You are renovating your home. Structural renovations can cause shifts and adjustments to walls and foundations that can impact the windows. Get your windows inspected after any significant changes to your home to ensure they retain their integrity.

Do not let a window salesperson scare you, but if you do need new windows, get more than one quote to make sure you get the best quality for the best price. When buying a new home, always have your realtor request a window inspection, as well as replacement of any damaged windows as part of the negotiation.

Posted by Svetlana Sheinina on 5/14/2019

No matter how you look at it, decluttering a home is a big job, yet the rewards are very promising. For some people, however, the challenge is not knowing what to do. Here a few easy ways that you can start getting rid of clutter in your own home.

Your medicine drawer is probably one of the most natural places to begin decluttering. Throw away all expired drugs, skin care products, toiletries and every other thing that you don't use any longer. Keep the most frequently used items directly in front, and at eye level, so you quickly access them next time. 

Now you can move to your bedroom. Look for items that you no longer use, such as bad chargers, pens that no longer write or even old shoelaces. Arrange your bed and fold all articles of clothing strewn about. Go through your cabinets and dressers, one drawer after the other. Take out clothes that you no longer wear and bag them for donation. Tackle your dressing table and go through the items there, some things are probably not going to be used anymore, so you should discard them. The goal decluttering is to make your home as light as possible. 

If you have a reading table, you want to put back your books in their proper places on your bookshelf. Do away with irrelevant papers like old brochures, newsletters, and pamphlets. If you think that you may need some information there, take a picture of it and save it to the cloud.

Having earned some momentum, you can move to your kitchen, which is often harder to declutter as it is the center of so many activities. Thoroughly assess each area of the kitchen and put everything back where it belongs. That includes items like knives, work boards and so on.

Open up your drawers and cabinets and do away with all unusable items. Look for things that you don't use but keep for some sentimental reasons and pack them up to donate if you don't feel comfortable about throwing them out. Keep things that you don't need in storage.

Finally, you are ready to move to the living room. Your living room will probably require more regular decluttering than any other part of your home. Put away things that you donít need, such as magazines and phone chargers. Assess the electronic and sound system too, store away some of the things you donít use and donate what you donít need. If you need ideas on where to donate, run a web search of charities in your locality to find out too for options.

Posted by Svetlana Sheinina on 2/12/2019

If you've ever wondered about renewing tile in your home wonder no more, it is a process that most of us can accomplish and have a beautiful finished product when done. Following the correct steps ensures lasting beauty and quality. 

Cutting it out

To begin with, you will need to cut out the old grout. Removing it can be accomplished with a utility knife if it is a small area. As this can be a complicated method, if the surface is a little larger, there are circular cutting tools that are available to rent or purchase at your local home improvement store. 

Match it or go all the way

After you get the old grout cleaned out, you will want to make sure that the grout you are replacing it with is the same color as the existing grout unless you want to cut all of it of the area that you are working. Replacing an entire area (for example a shower or bathroom floor) is something that you may or may not want to do depending on the condition of the existing grout. 

Getting it on

When you buy your grout, it will come as a powder that you will mix up and then smooth into the spaces between the tiles. When purchasing it make sure that you have enough to complete your project, better to return some then not have what you need ready to use when you are in the middle of the application. Once you have filled in-between the tiles, take a wet sponge and clean it off of the tile surfaces. 

Curing and sealing are essential

Grout typically takes 2-3 days to cure and then it will be necessary to seal it, primarily if it is a surface designed to get wet and used. Once the manufacturer's cure time has been met for the grout apply the sealant. Again this must be allowed to cure which can take another couple of days. Refer to the manufacturer's instructions for cure time as this part is crucial to the quality of the finished product. 

Improving the looks of your home

All in all, this may take some time to finish, but you will be delighted once completed correctly, and you have the assurance that it will last for years to come- improving life in your home and its value in the process. If you get into this process and find you don't want to finish it, or don't even want to get started because this already sounds like more than you want to do, contact a local tile professional to come out and take a look at it for you.

Tags: tile   grout   home improvement  
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