Tips For Lighting Every Room In Your House

Lighting is a key element that helps make a home. With proper lighting, you are able to perform tasks easily. Proper lighting also makes you feel comfortable, safe and also allows you to enjoy your home to the fullest. Each room in the house has unique lighting needs. Below are the suitable lights for each room to help you with planning.

Living Area

There are several types of lighting fixtures including recessed lighting that work for accent and general lighting needs. They help to enhance the living room’s ambience, accent artwork, dramatize wall textures and also illuminate your living room or playroom.

If you must use a chandelier in a given space, make sure the one you chose doesn’t date your space. Chandeliers are normally brought without considering space and the décor surrounding it. Chandeliers are available in many simple designs including small bulbs, faux candles or a few lights to complex and very expensive crystal varieties.

Regardless of your choice of décor, consider the ceiling height, measure the space and take into consideration how many lights on a circuit are required before installing lighting fixture.

Dining Room

Since the lighting fixture is the focal point of your dining area, it should express your personal style; while at the same time satisfy the general lighting needs. Whether your entertaining and dining style is casual and laidback, or is more formal, go for a fixture that truly reflects you.

Your dining area is the easiest room to light since the focal point of the room is always the dining table. Although chandeliers are normally the most popular, however pendant lights are also very good. You may as well add accent lights or a task lamp if you want to put spotlight on a given accent feature in the room.

Kitchen

Using under cabinet lighting will help prevent shadows on the kitchen counters, while at the same time adding critical light to your workspace. Fluorescent under cabinet lighting sources are also much cheaper compared to other lighting sources. Recessed down lights are the best for open areas over sinks. They can be mounted directly over the sink.

Mount mini-pendants 18 to 24 inches above your work surface to ideally light up your counter dinettes or breakfast bar. A pendant on dimmer, hanging just 24 to 30 inches above the table is the best for task lighting. You may size the fixture to about 12 inches less than the table’s diameter.

LED light bulbs are available in several color temperatures. Higher color temperatures of about 5000k to 6500k are recommended for a kitchen with a high Color Rendering Index (CRI), as high as reasonable to buy. CRI is a measure of how true the colors show up under light of any given bulb. For instance, rays from the sun have CRI of 100. So any other source above 80 represents colors closer to the way they appear in natural light from the sun.

The oven is also a very important place that requires sufficient light. A poor quality bulb in your oven is likely to make food appear under or overcooked. This can in turn throw a nasty wrench in an otherwise perfect meal. Incandescent bulbs are the best for ovens. In summary, your kitchen needs light bulbs that are high in CRI with fairly high color temperatures. The ovens on the other hand need specialty incandescent light bulbs with higher CRI.

Bathroom

The bathroom requires the right tone of light. The compact fluorescent light bulbs with the color temperatures of about 2700k best match the incandescent light, which has for a long time been used to scrutinize ourselves. Since our skin appear better under warm light, experts believe that warm light is optimal in your bathroom. If you are using recessed light over pedestal sink, it’s advisable not to mount them directly over the mirror in order to avoid creating shadows.

You can get rid of shadows by adding wall brackets to the side of your mirror. If your mirror is below 48 inches wide use, vertically mount wall brackets and position it under 75 to 80 inches above the floor.

If the fixture in your bathroom uses exposed lamps, avoid using wattage higher than 40 watts. Fixtures that are clear or with properly diffused glass normally use no more than seventy-five watts. The color corrected fluorescent lamps are supposed to be used when homeowners desire fluorescent fixtures. Crisp while light render skin tone most accurately.

Bedroom

The most appropriate choice for bedroom lighting is warm light because it is more relaxing and restful. Task lighting is usually used on bedside tables but you may also have sconces there too. In addition, you may consider installing accent lights to highlight a work of art or a photo. Dimmer switches are important and should not be forgotten because they allow you to make perfect ambiance in the room.

If your bedroom has sufficient space for nightstand, you may set up two bedside lamps. You can set them up in a style, but make sure that you do not angle the light to shine directly on the pillow, as a soft glow is much more soothing than a spotlight.

If your room is not spacious enough to accommodate nightstand, you can mount two sconces on each side of your bed, so as to have good light suitable for bedtime reading.

Exterior Lighting

Alley Illuminated Lantern Nighttime Old Town Stairs

Use decorative features on walls, along pathways, on posts and entrance foyers. Design of these features is supposed to complement the feel and look of your home and landscape while giving sufficient light for security, safety and functionality.

As you install a wall lantern, be sure to size the fixture not only to the door but also the surrounding spaces. Mount wall lanterns slightly above the eye level roughly at about 60 to 66 inches from the center to the floor. You may select post-top lanterns to match the style of wall lanterns. Post top lanterns which are larger make the best impression if used in a large open space.

Conclusion

Do not be afraid when choosing suitable lights for each room. Sufficient lighting can boost your mood and ambiance in the space. Lighting, just like the color of your room, can help enhance your space and also make it feel warmer and inviting. You can also get more lighting help ideas and suitable lights for each room from lighting stores, online decors, catalogues, fashion blogs and magazines.

5 Ways to Make a Small Bathroom Look Bigger

small bathroom

Whether your bathroom is small and cramped, or it just feels like it, there are ways that you can increase its size, at least perceptually. Here are five tips to steer you in the right direction.

Walls and flooring – keep them soft and light

The color of its walls and flooring can have a big impact on how you perceive your bathroom. Colors will not only affect the ‘mood’ that your bathroom conveys, but they will also affect how you see your bathroom size-wise. Lose the contrasting colors and crazy wallpaper and replace them with a simple, light-colored theme and a soft wall pattern, if any. If your bathroom is too ‘busy’ or has starkly contrasting colors, this tends to make it look smaller.

Bring in the lights

Lighting isn’t just good for the eyes; illumination can also help to make your bathroom seem larger than it really is. If you can, incorporate natural lighting, such as through a skylight or through generous use of windows. If those options are not available to you because of budget, space, or privacy reasons, adding more light to your bathroom, specifically in low-light areas, can really open things up, especially when used with lighter colors in your bathroom.

Use mirrors to your advantage

Just like the mirror in Snow White had magical properties, mirrors can work their ‘magic’ to make your bathroom seem more expansive. If possible, place a mirror opposite an outside window, or place mirrors opposite each other to improve your bathroom’s perceptual space. If you’re an abstract thinker type with a penchant for the scientific side of life, you can even use your mirrors creatively to bounce light off from each other to further brighten the space.

Replace your low-setting, wide cabinets with tall, skinny cabinets

Just like vertical lines on your clothing will make you look taller and slimmer, opting for tall, skinny cabinets vs. clunky, wide-based cabinets will give your bathroom the perception of being taller than it really is.

Remove the knick-knacks and doodads

small-spaces-bathroom-idea
While decorating your bathroom to make it feel more ‘homey’ may appeal to you, too many decorations, ornaments, floor mats, wall-hung candles, and pictures will actually clutter your room, making it feel more restricted. Allow the room to “breathe” by removing some of the bric-a-brac.

Regardless of budget, these small and simple remodeling project ideas can make a big impact on how you—and your guests—perceive your bathroom’s available space.

Common Painting Mistakes To Avoid

Common painting mistakes

Avoid some of the most common painting mistakes! Here’s what you will need to know…

Too Much Tape

While painters tape can be a huge help in keeping the paint inside the lines, when used in excess, it can also have the opposite effect.  Lining every edge of the wall can cause paint to seep under the tape, leading to erratic smudges when it’s peeled off.  Avoid this by taping only what’s necessary and using an angled brush for the rest.

Outlets

We’ve all been in the home where the outlets look fused into the walls.  This is the result of not properly prepping for paint.  Before you begin, it’s important to remove all covers and tape the remaining outlet to keep paint from staining it.

Holes

Don’t paint over problems.  Before painting, you want to make sure you fill in any dents or holes in the wall.  Caulk the edge of the wall where it meets molding, spackle smaller holes, and repair larger holes.  After everything is dry, sand off the excess filler, and then with a damp cloth or sponge, wipe off the dust.

Sand & Primer

Get the most vibrant color possible! Both sanding and priming your wall will prepare it to take in more color.  Sanding helps open the pores of the wall so the paint is absorbed as much as possible.  This will especially help improve the pigment of the color you chose and potentially limit the number of coats you will need to apply.

Similar to sanding, primer makes it so you get the most out of your chosen wall color.  These steps are especially essential if you plan on going from a light color to a dark color or vice versa.

Painting large areas or textured walls can be a large undertaking.  Don’t get overwhelmed.  Handyman Matters is here to assist in the process of any home improvement or repair project.  Give us a call 866-FIX-MY-HOME or check out our half-day room upgrade package.

De-Clutter Your Home With These Organizing Tricks!

De-Clutter your Home

When clutter gains a foothold, it turns into an unstoppable force that resists all challenges to tame it.  It’s an energy-drain and if left unchecked, becomes a self-sustaining monster.  But all is not lost!  Here are a few tips for tackling the beast and beginning to de-clutter (or tame) it a little at a time.

First off, don’t think big.  That’s the stumbling block that has felled any number of people in their well-meaning efforts to de-clutter.  The accumulation didn’t happen in a day, and it isn’t going to go away that quickly, either.

If you attempt to tackle the entire project as a whole, frustration will quickly cripple your efforts.  Instead, allow yourself a specific amount of time to tackle a single cleaning task.

Focus on one area of one room—a desk, a cupboard, a bookcase.  There’s great satisfaction in taking back control of even just a small space.  Break all of the tasks into small, manageable chunks you can finish in an hour or two:

  • Organize first, buy second.  There’s little point in buying storage containers or any supplies intended to assist with the cleaning-out process before you know what will remain after the purging.  Purchasing containers is just giving yourself the temptation to store even more things you don’t need.  For the same reason, this is certainly not the time to contemplate building new shelving or adding more storage space—it only enables you to hold on to items that should be departing now.
  • Complete cleaning tasks entirely.  Experts advise approaching cleaning with three goals in mind.  As you begin to de-clutter your home, everything should be designated for one of three destinations:  Trash, donate, or keep.  Once everything has been classified, act on it immediately.  Trash goes directly to the curb.  Keepsakes go back onto the shelves or into the drawers.  Donated items must leave your house ASAP.  The longer you allow the boxes or bags of things destined for a charity or thrift shop to sit around, the less likely they are going to leave at all.  Make a firm agreement with yourself that once separated, no items remain in limbo for more than a day.  Haul those things to be donated out to your car right away, and don’t leave them in the trunk!  Place them in the back seat where they are a constant reminder—and an inconvenience—until you’ve dropped them off at your local thrift store.
  • Leave sentimentality out of it.  Don’t de-clutter your home when you’re feeling nostalgic.  The “if you haven’t used it—or even seen it—in eighteen months, then out it goes” rule is harder to enforce when emotions are ruling your decision-making process.  If something is merely going to go back into a box or a drawer or cupboard and not be seen again for another five years, then ask yourself how much you really need it.  You probably don’t.
  • Keep an eye on the new clutter.  Once you’ve winnowed down your stuff to a manageable level, you need to stay disciplined so that it doesn’t begin to take over your life once more.  One tip for keeping “the paper monster” in check is to place all mail and assorted paperwork in a tray or shelf in plain view—neatly stacked, of course—on a desk or an entryway table.  Never allow the stack to grow higher than half an inch.  When it approaches that mark, promptly set aside the time to tackle what’s there and then send it on to its permanent destination.

Only after you’ve made a good, solid sweep of organizing and eliminating clutter, will you realistically understand your present and future storage needs.  This is the time to determine whether additional closet space or extra shelving is appropriate.  Consult with your local Handyman Matters office to see what tips and assistance they can provide to expand your home’s storage capabilities.  But above all, stay on your guard!  Clutter has a way of creeping back in when you least expect it.

Locate your local Handyman Matters by calling 1(866)FIX-MY-HOME.

4 Benefits To Installing Low-Flow Appliances In Your Home

It’s never a bad time to make your home a little bit greener. The benefits are overwhelming, and most common upgrades will pay for themselves within a year or two, and then again when it comes time to sell your house. One easy way to make your home more efficient is to install low-flow fixtures and appliances.

Low-flow fixtures come in many different shapes. Some, like aerators for showers and faucets, are either screwed right on to the opening or installed somewhere in the plumbing near the actual faucet or shower head itself. Others take the shape of full appliances that can be replaced wholesale. No matter the shape, though, low-flow upgrades offer many benefits for your home.

1 – They Save You Money

This is doubly Low-flow water fixtures help to save on energy coststrue for appliances and fixtures that are used all the time. Showers and faucets, for example, which are used multiple times per day, will pay off the cost of upgrading in less than a year. The EPA estimates that if everyone in the country switched to water-efficient appliances, the country would save $8 billion annually.

2 – They Save Energy

When most people think of conserving with low-flow appliances, they generally think only of the savings on the water bill. That’s not the whole story. In fact, switching to water-efficient appliances and fixtures will also save money on energy costs, as you end up using significantly less hot water. You also extend the life of your water heater.

3 – They Save the Planet

Few people realize that one of the biggest quality of life issues facing the world today is a severe shortage of fresh water in many regions. Switching to low-flow appliances and faucets lets you do your part to help out. This is one of the cheapest and easiest ways to make sure that we leave the planet a little better off than when we found it.

4 – Many Communities Offer Incentives

If all of these reasons weren’t enough, many communities, municipalities, counties, and even states offer incentives for installing low-flow and water-efficient appliances and fixtures. And since the EPA claims that ultra-high-efficiency WaterSense products perform better than traditional counterparts, a tax incentive is basically free money to upgrade to higher quality fixtures and appliances.

The expert craftsmen at Handyman Matters can help you save energy and money by installing low flow fixtures and appliances. Enter your zip code above to find a Handyman Matters in your area or call us today at 1-866-FIX-MY-HOME to schedule your appointment.

Preparing Your Guest Room For The Holidays

Ikea Trundle BedOne guest room with a queen sized bed is great, but depending on the number of you out-of-town guests you may need more of a resort. So how do you make the most out of the typical single guest room? Instead of turning away company, let’s explore some potential solutions!

Beds

More is always better when it comes to beds.  While bunk beds make most of us cringe, these space savers are not just for kids. Most modern furniture stores carry some take on the buck bed, often renamed as the “lofted bed”. For the best results, shoot for a queen on bottom and the twin as the loft.

Another option is trundle beds. These save space, pulling out the extra bed only when necessary.

Or, if there’s space for a lounge area, consider pairing a bed with a pull out couch.

Storage

The nice thing about guest rooms is that the available storage requires far less organization. If you are pressed for space, don’t worry about putting a dresser in this room, as it will likely be unused.

Instead, focus on the hotel basics. Make sure there are nightstands, a closet or wardrobe to hang up nicer items, and a surface to place luggage at waist level.

Amenities

While the furniture in an extra room can be fairly sparse, amenities should not. Store extra blankets, bedding, towels, and water cups in a convenient, noticeable place.

floor length mirror

Make sure you have at least one mirror, and that one of the mirrors is floor length, so guests can get dressed without stress. For those of you looking to go above and beyond, lay out extra tooth brushes, toothpaste and floss, and leave a phone charger in case the guest forgot.

Repairs

Finally, there’s no excuse for cold or drafty guest rooms. Take a nap or read a book in the guest bed. Make sure you’re in there for an extended period of time in the evening so you can inspect the temperature. If you do find that the heat is a little uneven, no need to panic. You can bite the bullet and repair your heating systems or windows, but there are also affordable alternatives. Buy a space heater, hang heavier curtains, or supply extra cozy items (slippers, socks, blankets).

Building new beds, making repairs, or finding solutions can be very time consuming. If you are pressed for time this holiday season, let Handyman Matters take care of your to do list. For a free estimate, give us a call, 866-FIX-MY-HOME!

How To Install Inox Stainless Steel Cables For Stairs & Decks

Indital’s Inox stainless steel product line is “modular”, meaning there is no welding needed.  All that is needed to connect our various components such as handrail supports into the top of the newel posts or various radius elbows to the handrail is just a few drops of our #E4054 high adhesive glue.

We provide many varieties of products to meet just about any cable application desired whether for stainless round or square posts, or even wood posts.

Indital can provide custom pre-drilling and/or tapping of our Inox stainless or Steelnox galvanized posts to meet your desired project specs.  We would require a drilling form to be filled out in order to know hole size, hole spacing, post height, and type of post. Indital can also provide takeoff assistance helping you determine which parts you will need to complete your project as long as we are given a drawing with accurate dimensions, including the rise/run of your stair.

Recommendations

  • We recommend that newel posts for cable applications be spaced no more than 4 feet
  • Keep cable spaced roughly 3” to 3-1/4” a part as there is always some flex with cable and this will make sure you pass code of 4”.
  • Cable hardware is technically only needed at the beginning and ending of a run, and the cable can run through the predrilled intermediate posts.
  • Indital recommends ending a cable run at 20-25ft to allow the most strength and tension
  • Anything over 20-25ft, it is recommended to use a mid-run tensioner coupling (ET06 w/ETM05DX & ETM05SX) to allow additional tension for the long run of cable. We do not recommend going over 50ft.
  • Our cable comes standard in spools of 328ft, in either 4mm, 5mm, or 6mm. Our 5mm (13/64”) is our standard and most popular size due to the rigid offering and having more hardware options available for it.
  • Our cable and cable hardware are all 316 exterior grade, however, please be aware that we offer both 304 interior and 316 exterior grade for our posts, handrail, and components so please make sure to purchase the correct grade material for either your interior or exterior project.
  • If drilling your own stainless posts, use drill bit intended for stainless so it doesn’t create burn marks due

Cable Hardware Options

Options That Require Crimping (through-the-post)

  1. Our ETM05DX male terminal (right hand thread) or our ETM05SX male terminal (left hand thread) to work with our ED06 female dome nut (right hand thread) or ED06SX female dome nut (left hand thread)
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  2. Our ETF05DX female terminal (right hand thread) or our ETF05SX female terminal (left hand thread) to work with our ED07 male rounded head screw (right hand thread) or ED07SX male rounded head screw.

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  • These 2 options are recommended for our stainless posts; however, if using with wood end posts (through-the-post), make sure to source a heavy duty washer to keep the cable hardware from pulling through the post.
  • If utilizing either of these options on a stair rake, use a sloping washer (EB071 for example) on each outer end post at the start and stop of the run. This helps align the angle.  Please refer to our Inox stainless schematics to see the example.

Drilling For Flat & Rake Angles (through-the-post)

    1. If deciding to drill “straight” holes in your end posts for a stair rake, you can utilize a few options.
      • Use our ED05 (pivotable terminal connector) along with the ED07 and ETM05DX but only in right hand thread offered.

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      • Use our ED06 dome nut right hand thread and ETMT06DX right hand thread (pivotable turnbuckle) with our ETFF05. Available in both right and left hand threads.

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  1. If deciding to drill “offset” or holes at an angle for a stair rake, you can utilize a few options.
    • Determine the correct angle needing to be drilled by calculating from the rise & run.
    • Use our ETM05DX male terminal (right hand thread) or our ETM05SX male terminal (left hand thread) to work with our ED06 female dome nut (right hand thread) or ED06SX female dome nut (left hand thread), and make sure to include the sloping washer (EB071 for example). See Inox stainless cable schematics on website for example.
    • Use our ETF05DX female terminal (right hand thread) or our ETF05SX female terminal (left hand thread) to work with our ED07 male rounded head screw (right hand thread) or ED07SX male rounded head screw, and make sure to include the sloping washer (EB071 for example). See Inox stainless cable schematics on website for example.

Drilling Sizes

  1. Our ETM05DX, ETM05SX, ETF05DX, ETF05SX for 5mm (13/64”) cable are 7.5mm O.D. (0.295”) with M6 (0.236”) threads.

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  1. We recommend for creating your hole sizes that you use:
    • ¼” or 17/64” hole for your intermediate posts allowing the cable to run through with minimal gap since the cable size is 13/64” (5mm)
    • 19/64” to 8mm (0.315”) hole will allow proper clearance for cable hardware to fit snug within the end posts.

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Wood Post Options

When drilling into wood newel end posts, we recommend first to pre-drill with either a ¼” or 17/64” bit to allow our ETW05DX or ETW05SX wood lag screw terminals to be properly driven in without accidently cracking the wood post.

This can be installed straight or at any angle into wood post.

  • 8mm deep socket will allow you to drive the wood lag screw terminal into the wood post properly

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Another option for mounting cable to a wood newel post is utilizing an external pivotable anchor terminal such as our: EMMF06DX/EMMF06SX or EMM05

  • Perfect for both straight runs and angles, without having to predrill into the posts

inox pivotable anchor terminal on deck

Installation & Tension

Creating tension with our cable comes down to accurately cutting your cable at the correct length.

    1. Predrill your posts to desired specifications utilizing the #E40580 drilling template…..or Indital can predrill your posts (drill form required and found on indital.com)E40580 drilling template
    2. Mount your posts in place along with the flange canopies to cover the hardware
    3. Add your cable terminals through your end posts at the start and finish of your run
    4. Don’t fully tighten the terminals down
    5. Then measure the length between each end post from where the cable slips in at the farthest point of each cable to the other post doing the same

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  1. From there you will cut your cable at the pre-measured length using the shearing tool (#E40690)inox shearing tool
  2. Crimp the inner cable terminals to the cable using the E40685 manual hydraulic crimper (instructions are included with each tool)
    • Make sure to use the correct crimper die size that matches the O.D. of the cable terminal (The cable dies are included in the tool kit)cable crimper
  3. Recommended to use a left hand terminal on one end and right hand on the other end of run
  4. Before you begin to thread on the cable crimped terminals to the posts, make sure you begin at the middle of the post and end at both the top and bottom. This allows the tension to be evenly distributed.guide cable installation sequence
  5. After cable is crimped to terminals, thread the crimped terminals with the end dome nut or rounded head screw depending on which option you preferred. As you’re tightening them on each end of run it will begin to pull the cable fully tight.  If cable was measured and cut properly you will feel the cable tension and feel firm.  Overly tighten and it will pull too heavily on the posts.

Crimpless Terminal (no crimping tool required)

#ETSM300 (#E019760063) – (Offered In Right Hand Thread Only)

crimpless terminal guide

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Post written by the team at Indital.

Fool-Proof Tips for Cleaning Wood Surfaces

To keep the wood surfaces in your home clean and beautiful without damage, you need to consider the kind of wood and the treatment it receives.

General Cleaning for Wood Furniture and Paneling

One of the first rules of cleaning wood is this: never soak it with water.

Wood is porous, and applying water will swell the pores. Water can also damage many types of finishes – the proof is that most of us have a table or desk with tell-tale rings on them left by wet cups.

While dusting with a barely-damp cloth shouldn’t harm painted wood surfaces, any application of water to oiled, lacquered, or unfinished wood is likely to leave permanent, disfiguring marks.

Opt instead for a dry dusting cloth, or use the dusting attachment on your vacuum cleaner to keep wood furniture and paneling clean.

Dry or Damp Wood Dusting Cloth
Use A Dusting Cloth Like This

Can You Clean Wood With Vinegar?

It isn’t a good idea to clean wood with pure, undiluted vinegar. In addition to leaving water marks, the acid in the vinegar could “eat” certain kinds of finishes.

However, for polishing wood, a homemade treatment of half olive oil and half white vinegar can buff up stained and oiled wood finishes nicely. Simply apply with a soft clean cloth and rub in well. Blot off any excess with a second cloth.

How To Clean Wood Floors With Vinegar

  • Add a cup of white vinegar to your mop bucket for extra grease-cutting power. Don’t let pools of water stand on the wood afterwards, or you may wind up with water marks, especially on darker woods.
  • Stand on a towel and “walk” it around the room to wipe up any excess water.

While vinegar can be safe, DON’T use other solvents like alcohol, ammonia, or acetone-these will damage your furniture or even strip off the paint.

How To Clean Wood Floors (without vinegar)

Don’t want to use vinegar? Follow these steps to clean your hardwood floors like a pro:

  1. Clear The Space. First, clear the room of any furniture that is easily moveable. Chairs get in the way and are easy to move.
  2. Dust The Floor. Begin by sweeping or dusting your floor with a microfiber mop. Use a microfiber mop instead of a broom. This will trap dust and allergens instead of pushing it around the room. Be sure to keep the mop on the floor so you don’t release any dirt. You won’t use water in this first step.wet and dry microfiber mop
  3. Apply Hardwood Cleaner. Next, you’ll lightly spray the floor with hardwood floor cleaner.hardwood floor cleaner
  4. Mop The Floor. Use a dampened wet microfiber mop pad (included in this kit) and walk it back and forth in direction of the grain. Be sure the mop isn’t dripping wet and clean up any standing water right away. It only needs to be slightly damp.

How To Polish Your Wood Floors

Want your floor to really shine? You’ll need to polish it. This doesn’t have to be done every time you clean the floor. Once every 3 months is the recommended schedule. It will really make your floor look great and protects it at the same time!

  1. Follow the steps above for cleaning your floors.
  2. Shake the hardwood polish well and spray on the floor in an “S” pattern.hardwood floor polish
  3. Use a clean microfiber pad to massage the polish into the wood against the grain.
  4. Smooth the surface with the grain.

It helps to polish your floors in small sections and be sure to start in one corner and end in a spot where you won’t have to walk over the floor for an hour. Avoid heavy traffic for 24 hours if possible. If your hardwood is heavily worn or old, you may need to think about refinishing it. Enjoy your great looking floor!

Types Of Waxes For Wood Surfaces

Adding a shine to wood furniture, especially antiques or exotic woods, is as easy as applying some wax. Waxes made specifically for wood furniture are designed to provide extra protection from moisture, dust, and stains as well as a pleasing soft sheen. Even better, if you want to refinish your furniture at any point, wax will not cause problems.

Liquid waxes are the easiest to apply, and often dry quickly, but you may need to apply more than one coat to really see results in terms of both looks and protection. The results from liquid wax usually last up to four months, depending on how much wear your furniture gets.

Paste waxes offer superior, long-lasting protection to fine wood furniture. It isn’t necessary to apply more than one coat to most woods, but the extra effort can take your wood from looking good to looking great. The hard, shiny finish given by paste wax is well worth your time for treating lacquered and oiled woods.

How To Remove Water Stains On Wood

As with stains on carpet, it’s best to treat water stains on wood as soon as possible after they happen. Blot up any excess moisture and try one of the following home remedies, depending on what you have lying around the house:

  • Apply shaving cream. Leave for 5 minutes and wipe up.
  • Apply real mayonnaise on a cloth. Let rest on the stain for up to 10 minutes and wipe off.
  • Gently apply metal cleaner. Leave for 5 minutes and wipe away excess.

All-In-One Wood Cleaners

Finally, many products are available that treat wood while cleaning it. These products, while effective for painted, sealed, and laminated wood surfaces, should be tested in an inconspicuous place on unsealed or oiled woods before trying. These cleaners can be a convenient and effective solution for wood surfaces in areas that are frequently soiled, such as kitchens or bathrooms. Try products from Bona, specially designed to clean sealed woods. Check out our recommended wood cleaning kit below.

Bona-Kemi-4-Piece-Hardwood-Floor-Care-System-WM710013358
This Kit Has Everything You Need!

How To Decorate For The Holidays

Don’t find yourself so overwhelmed with preparations and repairs that by the time the holidays are over, you’re left with the feeling that you didn’t have a chance to sit down and simply enjoy them.

holiday centerpiece

It’s that time of year when decorating, preparing bountiful feasts and hosting friendly get-togethers are uppermost in many people’s minds.  It’s also a period of potential stress and frustration when people realize their to-do lists are long and the time to accomplish everything on them is short.

Don’t find yourself so overwhelmed with preparations and repairs that by the time the holidays are over, you’re left with the feeling that you didn’t have a chance to sit down and simply enjoy them.

Plan Ahead

  1. Find a quiet time free of distractions and sit down with a cup of cider or the beverage of your choice and a notepad.
  2. Make a list of everything you’d like to accomplish during the holiday season.
  3. Then take a second look.  Prioritize, and be realistic.
  4. Set aside those things that can’t reasonably be accomplished by the end of the year, and focus on those that can.

New furnishings or other big purchases are nice, but save those change-ups for later. Instead spruce up the details.

Now is not the time for repainting an entire room.

Focus instead on the smaller, more specific things your guests will notice.  Right away, you’ve narrowed your expectations and saved yourself some worrying.

Consider the amount of time you have available versus the amount of tasks to be handled, and allot the time accordingly.  Be realistic, and don’t try to overreach your limitations.

When you feel that impulse to tackle something big, remind yourself that your family and your friends will value the time they spend with you far more than they will remember overly extravagant decorations or new carpeting or food with fancy names they can’t pronounce.

Heading the list should be the simple task of de-cluttering.  It’s amazing how items manage to stack up in such a stealthy way that, somewhere along the way, you’ve stopped even noticing it.

Begin With The Front Porch & Entryway

Are there planters housing last summer’s dead geraniums? A coat rack inside the door playing host to far too many items?

Conduct a quick perusal of every flat surface in your home:

  • Magazines on coffee tables?
  • Bottles of lotions and soaps on the bathroom vanity?
  • Knickknacks taking up space on kitchen counters?

Less Is More

Remember, less is always more impressive.

This holds true with holiday decorations as well.  Go minimal:

Here are a few more holiday spruce up tips to keep in mind:

  • If some re-painting is in order, pick smaller projects in areas that your guests are more likely to notice.
  • Replace outdoor light bulbs with ones of higher wattage. This is an easy task that will instantly change the look of the outside of your house.
  • New bathroom towels and a fresh soap bottle changes up a bathroom significantly.  If you want to go an extra step, consider new fixtures or perhaps a new mirror.
  • Consider safety over style.   What are the potential hazards that might trip up a guest? (those things you are now so accustomed to stepping over or avoiding that they no longer seem threatening to you)
  • Is there a door that sticks?  Tile or carpeting coming loose?  Precariously hung paintings or mirrors?
  • Will there be a fire in your fireplace, and if so, how sturdy is the screen, and how long has it been since you’ve have someone clean the flue?

Decide which tasks you have the time and capability to handle yourself, then begin to delegate the rest.

Remember, these are your holidays too. Don’t spend too much of them with a paintbrush or screwdriver in hand at the expense of enjoying time with friends and family!

Handyman Matters and its craftsmen stand ready to help in any way they can with repairs, remodels, hanging decorations and lights or even assisting with putting up trees.

Tips On Making Your Home More Secure

Your house is your home, your fortress of safety.

It’s a place where you keep your most important belongings: your checkbooks, your jewelry, your heirlooms, your important documents and most importantly, your family.

Everybody has the right to feel safe in their own home.

The saying goes that a man’s home is his castle, and of course the first purpose of a castle is to be strong and secure enough to resist would-be intruders, and prevent them from getting inside.

There are simple things you can do to safeguard your house, most of which you probably do already: lock your doors, lock your windows and keep lights on when you are away.

But there are also more extensive things you can do, things that are sure to leave you, and your house, feeling a little bit safer.

The following are some tips on securing your doors, windows, patio doors and more in order to make your home and valuables as safe as possible.

Conduct A Quick Scan Of Your Yard And Entryway

  • Are the yard and pathways free of sight-line blocking branches and shrubbery?
  • What kind of lighting illuminates your property?  Is it motion-senor activated?
  • Do the exterior lights you leave on in your absence all-encompassing?
  • Do your neighbors have a good view of your lawn and walkway, to discourage lurking intruders?

Secure Your Doors

Doors are a burglar’s preferred method of entry. A deadbolt lock will provide a good degree of security for your front door. Poorly secured patio doors or French doors can be an open invitation for burglars to break into your home, so it is vital to ensure they have reliable locks. As an added precaution, you can get a chain fitted to your front door, which should offer some further peace of mind.

If you have a letter slot in your front door, the slot should be no closer than 16 inches from the door lock, to prevent burglars reaching through and unlocking the door from the inside. If you are worried about mail theft, fit an internal cover plate or letter basket (with the bottom removed).

Get a Door Viewer

A door viewer, or peephole or spy hole as they are sometimes called, is an important addition to your home, particularly if you have children. By installing a door viewer, you are able to see who is at the front door before opening it.

ring-with-door

Companies like Ring have come out with modern versions of the door viewer that allow you to see who is at your door from anywhere with your smartphone. This is great for kids as well, because they can’t always see through the peephole.

ring-smartphone

If this sounds useful, check out our Secure & Monitor Package.

Here are a few more technology-based home security ideas.

Get a Wrought Iron Door

When it comes to security, two doors are better than one. Installing a wrought iron door in your house, whether it’s in the front, back, or side of your house, is a great way to create an added level of security.  A simple wrought iron door gives burglars another obstacle to overcome, and another reason to leave your house alone.

Secure Your Windows

Windows can be vulnerable to burglars, so it is advisable to have locking devices fitted, particularly for ground floor windows or ones which lead on to balconies.

Remember to close all the windows whenever you leave the house, however briefly you go out for.

Additional Security

motion-light

Motion or heat sensitive lighting is a good way to deter potential intruders, and such devices are now affordable and widely available. This is a great form of preventative security, as it means that burglars will be less likely to want to try breaking into your home in the first place.

You can also make things harder for burglars by keeping your garden open and trimming back bushes, meaning that they have nowhere to hide. Also, remember to put away any tools or ladders that might be outside, as it is important not to leave anything lying around that may actually help the burglar break in.

Finally, don’t be tempted to leave a spare set of keys under a plant pot or doormat, or hanging inside the mail box –burglars know all these tricks, and these are the first places they will check. Once they have your keys, a burglar will have an easy way to visit and re-visit your house at will until you have the locks replaced.

Make It Look Like You’re Home

Another easy preventative measure is to make your home appear occupied. Leave the lights on when you go out for an evening, or consider using some home automation if you are going to be away for a longer period.

Are there still people who go on vacation and allow mail and newspapers to stack up in front of their home?  Amazingly, yes.

Yet is there any clearer sign to passersby that people have been away from their house for an extended period than a collection of newspapers in the driveway, or envelopes jutting out of a mailbox?

You can contact both your postal carrier and newspaper delivery person to temporarily stop their service, but a better choice is to ask a friend or neighbor to stop by each day just long enough to collect the paper and mail and keep them for you until your return.

Get A Burglar Alarm

Yes, a burglar alarm may seem so “1980’s” but security never goes out of style. Not only do burglar alarms secure your house when you are away, such as on vacation, but they also keep you safe when you are home. Just telling others that they are there, such as with a sticker in your front door window or a sign on your front lawn, is a great deterrent.

Replace What is Broken

One of the most common reasons people are burglarized and assaulted is because of things that are broken and not fixed. Time after time, assailants are able to enter a house through a broken window or door that no longer locks. Do yourself and your family a favor and don’t wait to fix things: fix them immediately and sleep sound at night.