Posts by Chris Lee

Don’t Overlook These Small But Important Details When Choosing Bathroom Tiles

The tiles you choose for your bathroom should do more than just protect the space from water damage; the look of the tiles will greatly impact the overall look of the bathroom itself, and some materials are more fragile than others. To ensure you’re happy with your choice of tiles for years to come, note a few small but important details to consider when shopping.


Square tiles are classic, but note that rectangular tiles will add the look of length and depth, according to how they’re installed. If you are tiling a small bathroom, opt for longer rectangular shapes; long, horizontal tiles will make a bathroom look wider, whereas rectangular tiles set vertically will make it look deeper and longer.

The shape of tiles can also work in the opposite way, making a bathroom look smaller and even a bit cluttered. Very small tiles often seem busy and can close in a space, so avoid these in a small shower area or bath. You may assume that larger tiles will overwhelm a small space, but larger squares can actually look better proportioned and keep the space seeming more open and airy rather than small and busy.


Dark tiles or those in a bold colour such as blue or gold can seem very stately and elegant, but consider how your bathroom space will look when completely covered in this colour or shade, especially if you have a dark paint colour on the walls. If you prefer something bold for tiles, consider using this colour as a border along the floor or shower area, rather than for the entire floor and shower surround. This will keep the bathroom from looking busy and overpowering and allow that bold colour to stand out and be noticed.

Material and maintenance

Bathroom tiles need to be waterproof and resistant to mould and mildew, but they’re not maintenance free. Natural stone tiles need to be sealed regularly as they often have pits and pores that can hold moisture and eventually cause cracking or allow mould to grow. Porcelain and ceramic are much denser so they won’t hold moisture and will be less prone to cracking over time. Glass is also very dense and needs little to no maintenance, and it’s a lightweight material as well; heavier stone tiles may require some bracing of your bathroom’s subfloor or framing so it can hold that heavier weight without cracking and settling, meaning extra work and cost for their installation.

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Why You Shouldn’t Resist the Call for Better Insulation

Energy costs seem to be always on the rise and homeowners are always looking for ways to keep them in check. You may be thinking how you can regulate your air conditioning system more efficiently, or trying to figure out how you can change your electricity tariff to a lower band. Yet you may be overlooking one of the biggest cost saving opportunities of them all – the installation of proper insulation. What should you be focusing on?

Why You Need to Get This Right

Without proper insulation in and around your home, you could be wasting a significant amount of the energy generated to cool or heat the property. Not only will this be costing you money in the wallet or purse, but it will be increasing your carbon footprint and putting undue stress on your HVAC systems.

What Type Do You Need?

You need to check what type of insulation – if any – is already installed and come up with a plan depending on exactly where you live. The type of climate that you deal with will dictate both the type of insulation and the amount that you need. In much hotter climates, you may need reflective insulation, which is designed to deflect heat. Homes that are located in cooler areas may need to focus on bulk insulation instead.

Dealing with Resistance

The type of product you will need to choose will be segmented according to what’s known as an “R value.” The letter stands for resistance and means the amount of heat that the insulation resists or keeps either out or in. The products that you can get will have different values according to the location and the task at hand. When installed correctly, products can be expected to provide the correct resistance.

It is nevertheless very important to choose an installation company to do this right. If the material is overly compressed or damaged when it is put in, or an incorrect space is left in between the various sheets, then you won’t get the desired result.

Getting It Right

Note, that if you’re conducting any type of renovation, your local authority is likely to demand minimum standards of insulation efficiency. You’ll need to look at your roofs and ceilings, as well as your walls and sometimes your floors, to make sure that you come up to standard and save as much energy as possible going forward.

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Mistakes Too Many Homeowners Make When Caring For and Cleaning a Wood Deck

A high-quality wood deck should last for many years, if not even decades. However, its longevity often depends on how you care for and even clean the deck. This isn’t difficult, but unfortunately many homeowners make a few common mistakes that can leave them with a deck that isn’t truly clean, and which may actually damage the deck as well. Note a few of those mistakes here so you can ensure you avoid them when it comes to your home’s deck.

Allowing the deck to dry while cleaning

Most homeowners will use a power washer or a good scrub brush, as well as a detergent added to the water, when they clean the deck. If that detergent should dry during cleaning, it can cause a filmy residue and get absorbed into the deck, causing damage to the wood. Think of having soap dry against your car when washing it and you may realize how it can damage the deck, except that your car body can’t absorb that detergent as can wood! When washing your deck, clean just one section at a time if it means being able to spray or scrub the detergent on and then rinse it off before it can dry, and choose a cloudy or overcast day so the sun doesn’t dry the detergent too soon either.

Not removing mildew where it’s likely to form

Inspecting the top of your deck for mildew is good, but note that mold, mildew, and wood rot is mostly likely to form where it’s often dark and where moisture is held against the wood deck. This means on the underside of the deck or areas where shrubbery may be brushed up against wood planks and slats. You might not relish the idea of crawling under your deck to inspect it, but this can be needed to address any mildew, rotted wood, and other damage that may be forming.

Not replacing old connectors

When you clean or inspect your deck, you may note old connectors that have come loose or are coming loose between slats and planks. It’s a mistake to simply pound these back into the wood, as the connectors may have become rusty or worn or threads on nuts and bolts may have been stripped. When connectors are loose, it’s good to remove them and replace them with new connectors entirely. This will ensure the deck holds firm over time and especially as you direct pressurized spray in the area of the connector while cleaning.

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Stump Removal Methods DIYers Had Better Avoid

No matter how desperately you need to remove an unwanted stump from your yard, here are a number of methods that you should avoid as a do-it-yourselfer.

Using a truck without proper digging

A big mistake that some people usually make is to tie an unsightly stump to the bumper of their truck and attempt to pull it out of the ground by driving forward in a sequence of jerks without minding how deep the roots underneath the stump might have grown.

If the root penetration is extensive, then you will only be causing a great deal of damage to your vehicle if the roots beneath the stump have not been properly weakened through digging.

Torching with fuel

What happens here is that scrap wood is placed on top of the remaining part of the tree trunk and fuel spilled to start a fire. Burning down a stump with diesel or petrol might only help you eliminate the dry protruding part of the stump, but it will most certainly not get rid of roots that have extended deep below the ground.

Besides, the burning wood often emits a lot of dark-coloured smoke that can increase carbon footprint. Hence, this technique is not considered to be good for the ecology.

Burying the stump

This is yet another stump removal method you should turn away from in spite of the fact that it helps avoid the expenses of transporting stumps away and discarding them off-site. When you hide a tree stump below the surface, especially in a wetland area, it can continue to decay, forming sinkholes later on. Because of the possibility of compromising the integrity of the subsoil for future construction purposes, you had better not consider this approach.

Using explosives

Opting to blow up a stump is a bad idea for many reasons. To start with, explosives are often noisy when they go BOOM! Therefore, they can cause a lot of noise pollution that may lead to problems with your neighbours and the local council, especially if noise restriction laws have been put in place. Second, explosives require a lot of skill to handle and use safely. Otherwise, things can blow way out of proportion and result in unwarranted cluttering of your landscape and costly damage to adjacent structures.

Whether you want to rid of a tree stump because it is an eyesore or because it is standing in the way of your plans to construct a new structure in your yard, it is advisable that you seek the advice of a professional on what technique is best applicable.

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When and Why You Should Consider Carpet Restoration Services for Your Home

Carpet restoration services usually refers to a deep cleaning of the carpeting that is more involved than your average steam cleaning. This restoration may include special detergents that address stains and other such damage, which might make your carpet look better and be cleaner than with your standard commercial cleaning job. If you’ve never had your carpets restored with this type of cleaning, note when and why it can be necessary for your home.

When you have a new baby or elderly person in the home

New babies, elderly persons, those with allergies, and those with breathing disorders can be especially sensitive to things like dust mites, allergens, and other bothersome irritants in carpets. You may not think that your carpets are especially dirty since these things are not bothering your lungs, but those with health concerns already may be more bothered by them. Remember too that babies often spend time on the carpet; even if you put down a blanket or other protective pad, they will be very close to dust, dirt, pet dander and pet hair, mud, and other bothersome contaminants that are trapped in your carpeting. Before you bring home your new baby and if anyone in the home might be sensitive to these irritants, have your carpets restored.

After a flood or other water damage

You may not be able to see how water damage has affected your carpeting, but the padding underneath the carpeting may have absorbed some of that water or may be holding it in place, and you don’t even realize it. In turn, your carpeting may start to show mold and mildew growth. If you’ve had a flood or any such water damage, have your carpets restored, even if they look fine, to ensure their bottom layers are dry and clean.

Before putting your home on the market

Before you assume you need new carpeting to make your home look its best, try carpet restoration first. This type of deep cleaning can make the carpets look lighter and also restore the nap of the fibers so the material doesn’t look worn down and matted. Restoration can also remove bad smells in the carpet and many restorers will use lemon-scented cleansers, so your home smells clean and fresh. In turn, you may have more interest from potential homebuyers who appreciate the look of new carpeting and the smell of a fresh, clean floors.

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Reminders for Any Renovation

If you've decided to undertake a project around your house, there are a few things to remember. First, make sure to have a good idea of the cost going in. Talk to local specialists for estimates or do research on the cost of supplies and labor. Second, always make sure to take necessary safety precautions. While a landscape project may seem like a lower-risk task than a rewiring job, it never hurts to be too careful. Finally, don't bite off more than you can chew. Plan out your renovation and repair projects in detail and then tackle one thing at a time. If you ever feel out of your element, hand the job over to a contractor. They'll know how to get the job done efficiently, safely, and correctly.


April 2017
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