Ideas For Your Summer Bathroom Remodel

The most telling room in any home is the bathroom.  Whether it be a master, a full, a ¾ bathroom, or a powder room… the state of the water closet is like peering through a keyhole to the condition of the rest of the home.  Is it outdated, dirty, or broken?  Bathrooms should inspire a feeling of cleanliness and hospitality, not of unease.  Take care of your home and its inhabitants by having a relaxing lavatory.  Handyman Matters has identified a few bathroom ideas, to improve each powder room in your home.

  • The Master Bathroom – Vanity

     
The biggest challenge for the master bathroom is organization.  For a room designed for the daily routines of (typically) two people, storage can be hard to come by.  For those of us with more beauty products than we know what to do with, there’s the bathroom vanity.  In modern bathroom designs, the vanity can be tucked away, between sinks, in extra counter space, or it can stand out as a small table.

  • The Full Bathroom – Free Standing Tub

     
A full bathroom is designated as having a shower, a tub, and a toilet.  When you have a full bathroom you typically have a spacious room.  What’s better in a large space than a statement piece?  The latest design trend for the modern bathroom is the free standing tub.  Whether it be Victorian inspired, contemporary, or more of the Jacuzzi vein – there’s a variety of kinds to help you bathe in style.

  • The Powder Room – Wallpaper

     
The smallest bathroom is the powder room.  When it comes to the ½ bath, the powder room has just a toilet and a sink. It may be small, but it is one of the most functional bathrooms in the home, most commonly serving the needs of your house guests.  Although this room is compact it doesn’t have to be bland.  The best way to add interest to a small bathroom is by installing printed wallpaper.

  • The ¾ Bathroom – Tile

     
Just the essentials in this room: a shower and toilet.  Smaller rooms with showers often fight the effects of humidity.  For this room think water resistant, think tile.  Unlike wood flooring and wallpaper, tile rarely warps or peels due to water damage.  A bonus feature is that there are many graphic options for tile to add a little intrigue as well as functionality.

Add a little luxury to your life and the lives of your house guests with a bathroom remodel.  The summer is a great time to revamp different areas of your home.  Whether you need repairs, extra cabinets, new appliances, or an accessible install – Handyman Matters is here to make that a reality.  Call us today to schedule your free estimate, 866-FIX-MY-HOME, or head to handymanmatters.com.

Affordable Window Repairs and Maintenance Tips that can Keep your Home Cool this Summer

Window Repair and Maintenance Tips for your Home

Where is your cool reprise from the hot spring and summer weather?  For Handyman Matters, we believe that place should be your home.  While installing cooling units can be a quick fix, it’s also one of the most expensive.  The lesser known truth is, cooling your home can be affordable.  These are the window repair and window maintenance tips that will make your home more energy efficient in the summer.

  • Re-caulk Window – When the windows of your home are closed, can you feel air leaking through the caulk of the window? If so, this is a sign you need to re-caulk.  Check both the interior as well as the exterior as this leak can be on either side of the window.  With a putty knife, scrape off the caulk remains, and then reapply. Make sure to perform this repair during the most shaded and cool part of the day so that the fresh coat does not melt.
  • Repairing Window Seal – This isn’t a problem you’re going to find on single paned windows, but for those of you with double or triple pane – here’s what you need to know. Look closely at your windows, if you can spot condensation forming in-between the panes, you are losing energy.  Your next steps will be to replace the window sash.  To find out more on replacing a window sash, check out this tutorial.
  • Stuck Wooden Window – Oddly enough, keeping your windows closed during the day, with blinds drawn will help keep your house cool, but sometimes there’s a cold front, and it can be nice to open your windows and let in some air. If you are trying to open your window and you find it’s stuck, it’s likely due to excess particles in the track.  The best way to solve this problem is to remove the window and clear out excess dust, old caulk, and to clean off the tracks.
  • Installing Blinds – Control the amount of natural light in your home by teaming up with some blinds. Adding blinds, especially to larger windows makes it possible to keep a little light, while restricting the heavier rays from heating up your home.
  • Hanging Curtains – If blinds aren’t doing the trick, heavier curtains have been known to work similarly to window panes, trapping heat, and they also reduce sunlight. For larger bay windows consider hanging floor length curtains to acquire more coverage.

Stay cool this spring and summer.  These window repairs and window maintenance tips are the first line of defense when it comes to keeping out the heat.  For more information on how to increase your home’s energy efficiency, give Handyman Matters a call at 866-FIX-MY-HOME!

 

 

Landscaping Ideas that will make your Backyard a Summer Getaway…

One of the biggest perks of owning your own home is being able to have a private outdoor space.  Your dogs can run free, you can host barbecues, or you can soak up some rays with your family.  As the weather gets warmer, step outside for a breath of fresh air.  Turning your backyard into a summer getaway will make staycations and spending time at home with family that much more fun.  Perhaps you’re wondering how to go about landscaping an outdoor space – well we have some ideas for you.  Explore your options so this summer can be one for the ages…

 

image via Better Homes and Gardens
    • Pergola

Decks aren’t the only option for finding a shady retreat.  Pergolas are the affordable alternative to a deck, providing just the right amount of relief from the hot sun.  While practical, structures like these also have a decorative element.  With the right green thumb, a vines can grow along your pergola like a Tuscany.  For the beer enthusiasts out there, this may be a great excuse to grow your own hops for home brewing.

 

 

 

  • Stone Walkways
image via houzz

Follow the yellow-brick-road, or something like it.  Stone additions to your home add a magical element, invoking stories of old roads, tired travelers, and a hopeful destination.  Visually and physically guide your guests through your backyard. Circle exceptional plants, walk visitors past your English gardens, or visit hidden ponds with your walkways.

 

 

 

 

 

    • Lawn Free
image via This Old House

There’s a lesser known fact that you don’t need a lawn to have a backyard (or front yard for that matter).  While the word lawn and backyard may be interchangeable their functions are not.  Especially in drier climates, opting for natural grasses and stonescaping may be preferable to grass.  Feathered plants like fine fescue, buffalo grass, or blue grama make take the typical lawn to a more interesting and whimsical place.

 

 

    • Raised Gardens
image via Sunset

Having a lush garden doesn’t mean having to overhaul you backyards current soil situation. Pack yourself a fertile, raised garden.  Up and out of reach from some of the typical culprits of plant damage, these gardens are the perfect solution to growing a healthy crop of vegetables or flowers.  Starting a controlled garden can also be a fun activity for the kids to learn about science and biology!

 

 

 

 

Does your backyard have a plan?  Get a free quote from the experts and begin to plan your summer getaway today – just call 866-FIX-MY-HOME or head to handymanmatters.com.

Fence Maintenance That Will Increase Your Home’s Value

The white picket fence is the classic symbol for the American dream.  You may not think about your fence on a regular basis, but keeping this structure in tact is essential.  Fences not only increase your home value and curb appeal, but they also add privacy and guard family pets.  Without a properly working fence, a lot can go wrong.  As the weather becomes sunny, and activities move to the outdoors, make sure your home is ready.  Here are a few techniques to start off your summer fence maintenance

  • Cleaning
    • Power Washing – renting a power washer works for all fence surfaces. It’s a high pressure way to get rid of seasonal grime and stains.
    • Scrubbing – wood and wire fences can be cleaned simply by scrubbing with a tougher scrub brush. For this you want to use a mild detergent or a diluted bleach mixture (16 parts water to 1 part bleach).
    • Vinyl Fences – these need careful attention. Only use a washcloth when cleaning them to avoid damage.  Also, be wary of using harsh chemicals as they may stain the fence.
  • Wood Rot or Leaning
    1. Dig out the post
    2. Chisel away the old concrete footing
    3. Realign or cut out rot
    4. Place back in ground and pour new concrete footing
    5. For fences that lean, adding a sister post, a support hammered into the ground and drilled into the original post can help in avoiding future leaning issues.
  • Drooping Gateway
    • An anti-sag kit will be the best solution. All parts are included in theses kits, just follow the instructions to install.  It will essentially form more tension on the side of the gate to keep it from sagging.

Fence maintenance can be an all-day if not all-weekend activity.  Save your summer free time for the fun activities! Handyman Matters is here to restore or install fences to suit your home’s needs.  Call today for a free estimate – 866-FIX-MY-HOME.

DIY Tricks for Cleaning Out your A/C or Swamp Cooler

Home

It’s that time of year when you reactivate your cooling systems.  Having a well ventilated, cool home in the summer is a necessity.  It has probably been awhile since you have seen your A/C or swamp cooler, let alone operated them.

Air conditioners are like anything else – they need to be properly maintained and kept clean if they’re going to run at their maximum potential.

The problem is many people forget to do this with their A/C units.

After a couple seasons of storage, the dust build up inside these appliances can be massive.  You wouldn’t light an old, dust-filled fireplace before cleaning it, so why turn on a dirty air system?

The biggest problem that arises from improper upkeep of your air conditioner is that a dirty A/C won’t run as well, which will use extra energy trying to cool your home and cost you more money in electricity over the long haul. To help keep your /AC unit in top shape, here’s a quick how-to guide to make your cooling system work to the best of its ability:

How To Clean Your Air Conditioner

Depending on the type and style of your air conditioning, the steps will vary slightly. We have listed 3 different types of air conditioning and the steps to clean them…

Central air, indoor unit

  1. Turn the power off, open up the front and swap out the old filter for a new one.
  2. Vacuum out dust from the blower compartment.
  3. Check for algae in the condensation tube. If there is build up, run 1 part bleach, 16 parts water through it.
  4. Clean the drain tube with a bristled brush.

Outdoor a/c unit

  1. Power down.
  2. Vacuum the condenser fins on the top.
  3. Remove the fan if possible and wipe it down.
  4. Hose down the inside of the unit, let dry, reassemble, and power on.

Individual room air conditioner

  1. Turn off.
  2. Remove exhaust panel and vacuum it out.
  3. Check and clean draining areas with brush.
  4. Vacuum the filter and the outside grille.

How To Clean Your Swamp Cooler

  1. Power down, turn off water.
  2. Take off back panel and old fiber pads.
  3. Open the drain plug and drain the water.
  4. Scrub the inside of the swamp cooler.
  5. Soak white vinegar in the water reservoir for an hour, then scrub and rinse.
  6. Cut new fiber padding using the old ones as a size pattern.
  7. Turn on water, fill the reservoir, adjusting the float if necessary.
  8. Reattach the back and power cooler on.

Read more about swamp cooler maintenance here.

Transitioning from cool to warm seasons requires a large adjustment in your home and its appliances.

Knock a few tasks off your list with help from Handyman Matters.  We do everything from small repairs to total overhauls.

Enjoy the sun, and let us take care of the dirty work, call 866-FIX-MY-HOME.