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How To Clean Vinyl Siding

Vinyl siding is one part of your house that will make it look attractive. The downside for this though is the maintenance required and it should be done occasionally. Over time, it will gather dirt and mold, and your exterior will not look good. It is not that hard though. With these easy steps, you can definitely do it like a pro.

Preparation

Before you start cleaning, you have things to prepare first to avoid potential risks.

1. Examine

Go around your home and see if there are loose boards. This might have an impact on how you will clean them. Also, it might be an additional task for you in the future.

2. Safety

Safety gear starts with your clothing. It should be comfortable for you to easily move around with closed-toe shoes. Then for protection, you would need rubber gloves, safety goggles for your eyes, and a face mask so that you will not breathe in the fumes. If there are objects in the way like furniture, move it away. Also, cover the plants for they might get damaged from solutions that will be used. Be sure to have electrical objects such as lights and outlets covered with plastic sheets and duct tapes. To avoid water entering inside the house, close the doors and windows. If you are planning to use a ladder, have someone with you to hold it for additional safety.

3. Cleaner Solution

Cleaner for vinyl siding is actually easy to prepare. But before that, you should check if your siding has mold and mildew on it because it might need a different solution and deeper cleaning. There are three types of solutions that you can choose to use. It could be as simple as soap and water, and this will be already effective. If you think you need something tougher, you can use bleach mixed with water though it could be more harmful and harsh. For other options, you can also use vinegar mixed in water.

Cleaning

After the preparations, it is now time to clean. There are two ways to do this:

1. Cleaning by Hand

You can do it in the old fashioned way. You just have to gather the needed materials which consist of sponge, bucket, and solution. If it has tougher stains, you might want to use a bristle brush. Do it by sections, so you would know what needs to be cleaned more than the others. Be sure to be gentle because added pressure might cause damage to the vinyl. For rinsing, you can use a hose.

2. Cleaning by Pressure Washer

To make cleaning easier and faster, people tend to use power tools. One is the pressure washer. Unlike doing it by hand which is more tiring and time-consuming, using a pressure washer is not and produces a greater result at times. The problem is that it can cause damage if not used properly. So the first thing you need to do is learn how to operate your pressure washer. Read the manual and ask for recommendations. Learn also what kind of solutions are allowed to be mixed in the pressure water. Bleach is not allowed for it will damage it. For rinsing, just use a regular hose or buckets of water for it does not require high pressure.

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How To Choose A Sofa Color

One of the best things about having your own home, whether it is big or small, rented or owned, is that you will be able to have your personal touches to it. From the decorations to the furniture, you will be able to show it off however you please.

But not all of us are good at choosing. Even if you would say you have your own style, it is still hard especially if you have to mix and match colors and designs. You could say that choosing furniture is one of the hardest parts. From the size to the style, it is not that easy. The color is also an aspect. Have you asked yourself how? You just have things to think about and consider and here are they:

1. Consider the Decor

You could either have a home that is pre-decorated or you will choose a sofa then go from there. But you could also be buying a new sofa, and your home is already decorated. Decorations are not just the things you will put around the room, but also the room itself. So, think about what color the walls are or does it have wallpaper? If it is already that way, you will have to get one that will match or complement them. If you are allowed, you can repaint it then have the sofa of your choice.

2. Consider the Other Furniture

Are your tables and shelves are dark-colored or light-colored? No matter what, they will affect the choice of color. Like the walls and decor, they should match. Other furniture also counts the other seats. If you have armchairs at the side or have found the most comfortable futon and want to add it, you would definitely want to have the same color scheme as them, so it will not contrast. 

3. Consider the Location

Another thing to consider is where you will be putting your sofa. If it will be placed in direct sunlight, it will affect the color. Fabrics with bold colors will tend to fight after a while when they are exposed to sunlight. This also includes other materials. If you are wanting to have a leather couch, it should be placed away from the sunlight because the color will fade away over time. If that is the case, you will need to choose a color, usually light-colored, that is unnoticeable when changed like gray or cream.

4. Consider Your Lifestyle

It would be easy if you are by yourself at your home. But if you have other companions like a roommate or partner or even kids, it will be different and crucial. Especially with kids, they tend to spill anything from food to paint, a light-colored sofa should be avoided. This also includes if you have pets with their fur that sticks on furniture or the dirt they sometimes take home. Another thing to consider is how often you have visitors because that will also affect. Having visitors is unpredictable. There could be food or drink spillage, and it is unavoidable.

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How To Clean Mildew Off Of Your Driveway

Maintenance is one of the keys for the home to both look good and be safe. You would not know if the woods and platforms around your home are still sturdy if you do not check it or clean it out. And then there are also the molds and mildews that not only look bad and nasty, and they are also hazardous because they tend to get slippery.

But how would you clean off these mildews? It can actually be scrubbed off by using a brush or wand, but it would be tiring and also dangerous at times if you will do it in higher places such as the roof or siding that often requires a ladder. You can also use a hose, but it would also take a long time. The best option would be an electric pressure washer. Because of its high pressure, it is much easier to do the work.

With a pressure washer, cleaning the molds and mildews, whether it will be at decks, sidings, patios, and others, is a lot easier and not time-consuming. You can also definitely use it for cleaning your driveway and make it more appealing and even safer. To make it much easier though, you will have to the following:

1. Scrubbing It Off with Bleach

Before doing any washing, scrub the mildews with bleach first. The reason for this is to remove the tougher ones. At times, the pressure will not be enough so by cleaning it first, it will be a lot easier. Bleach cannot be mixed in the pressure washer because it will ruin it.

2. Pressure Washing

To start with this, you will need to select the proper detergent. Technically, you can use any detergent available, but there would be a case that it is not practical, and the mildews will come back shortly. It could also be not compatible with the cement or wood that it would cause damage. Select the right detergent for this. Various types can be purchased, and you can find ones that are used particularly for cleaning mildews. As said before, do not mix bleach for it will cause damage to your pressure washer. To do this, spray some to the concrete and let it soak for a while. After that, you can now clean it up with the washer, and the mildew will quickly be washed away. For your safety, be sure that you know how to use it. Also, to make it look cleaner, do it in even strokes. Do it also by sections to avoid overlaps.

3. Rinsing

Once it is soaked up with the solution, it is time to rinse it. Be sure to have your pressure lower and also have it in even strokes like with the detergent. Have your nozzle not too near nor too far away from the concrete when rinsing. If you are around light fixtures or any other furniture, be careful around them. With the pressure, your driveway will be good as new.

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How to Arrange Your Living Room Furniture With Your Television

Some houses have the living room and entertainment room separated. The entertainment room could also be called a home theatre because it where the television, surround speakers, and such are placed. The living room, on the other hand, is where guests are usually entertained. That does not always happen though for common home does not have enough space for that. So, what happens is that the entertainment room and living room are merged into one. 

The question would be, is there enough space for that? Well, some do not opt for a complete entertainment system set because having a television alone will be enough to suit their needs. Maybe that is your scenario? Another question is how will you arrange your living room? It is quite important because it will surely affect the space of your living room and also the feel it will showcase to your guests. You will not really need an interior designer for this and have some of these tips, and you are good.

Television

The first would definitely be the television. It is usually used as the focal point of the room, so it is placed right in the center of the seating area. It is usually placed in a rack but nowadays, with flatscreen TV, it is now mounted on the wall, so more space for you.

Seats

With your television as the focal point, you will arrange your sets around it. Take note that the television’s distance from the seating should be at least 8 to 12 feet away. The main seat, usually the biggest one like a sectional, couch, or a big comfortable futon, is facing the wall with the television. Then the smaller ones would be at the side of the television. Having them rounded always works. With this, you will be able to form a balanced look.

Tables

Usually, homes will just opt for one main coffee table, and it is usually placed right in the middle of the seats and television. It is where drinks and remote are usually placed so have it inches away from the seating, easy to reach for you and your guests. If there are side tables, they are usually placed beside side chairs or the main seat. Just make sure it has enough space that it does not get in the way of people passing through. If you do not have enough space, you can have foldable tables as an extra in case you needed for yourself when working or for your visitors.

Shelves

Shelves are placed against the wall that will depend on the allowed space. It is where books and some of the displays are usually placed. If your television is mounted, you might want to have a rack or shelf near the television where you can put your other media consoles. 

Lighting

Side lamps should be placed on the side tables but make sure that it will not take the whole space of the table. You can also have floor lamps, and you can have those that have a table attached. As for chandeliers or any other permanent light fixtures, it should be centered above the seating area.

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How To Use A Pressure Washer With Detergent

One of the crucial things in having a house is maintaining it. If there are damages, you should go ahead and fix it right away. If not, it could have further damage. It is not just about fixing things, though. The best way to maintain your house is to be clean, inside and out. Add to that; it will be good for your health, physically and mentally.

It is not an easy task, though. You will have to give time and effort to it. But you can make it easier though as long as you are willing to invest. As for the cleaning materials you will use, there is a variety you could choose from to help make your cleaning a lot easier. Power washing is one of those. It is handy because it would make the cleaning of your shed, siding, driveway, car, etc. a lot easier. You would need to know the technique in how to use it though because it is so powerful that it would be harmful to you and the one you are cleaning.

Soap vs. Detergent

One of the basics you would need to know is the solution you can use with it. You can use both soap and detergent. What is their difference though? Soap is more natural and made from fats and oils from plants and animals. Detergents, on the other hand, are human-made and not biodegradable. Soaps are great for lighter cleaning but still adequate for dissolving and breaking down dirt, grime, and stains. It is not that effective if it gets more robust, though. Detergents are excellent for that because it is more effective. The problem is it can cause damage. Because of this, it should be used and dealt with accordingly. You should also know how to dispose of it properly.

How to use a pressure washer with detergent

1. Know what kind

Soaps have different types, and if you are going to use one, be sure that it is compatible with what you are cleaning. If not, it may cause damage. Also, always remember to not use it with bleach for it may cause damage to your pressure washer pump.

2. Know the cleaning procedure

The first thing you need to know is how to use the pressure washer. As said before, it could be harmful to you and what you are cleaning, so know how to operate it. You would need a tank for your detergent. If you do not have one, a water bucket will do but still needs a tube to be injected to the pressure washer pump, and then you can clean with a detergent brush or gun. Before rinsing the detergent, you have to let it sit through for a while.

3. Know what to prepare

When cleaning with a pressure washer and soap, always plan ahead. Be sure to have your windows, walls, etc. protected. Some stains need to be taken care of by cleaning solutions because the detergent might not be practical for it. Also, debris and dirt should be removed first with water.

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Choosing Headphones For Working With Guitar Recordings

Life isn’t all about renovation, sometimes you have to have a little fun. If you know me, then you know I’m all about recording and assembling music. The most common instruments that are recorded are either the keyboard or the guitar. The reason most likely is that both of these instruments can stand alone. Recording a song you wrote? Just grab a guitar or keyboard, and you are ready. But of course, there will be other pieces of equipment that will be needed to record and finalize a complete song. You need your computer, audio interface, DAW, microphone, and headphones. Those should be enough for a quick recording session.

In order to produce recordings with great quality and sound, the pieces of equipment that you use should also be of high quality. Some of them, like the microphone and headphones, may be found in common music stores and may be offered in a wide range of prices. But remember that they are not all the same and they often have different uses. Studio headphones are used for recording and editing, as opposed to more prominent headphone brands that are more intended for listing to music on your phone or computer for pleasure. This type of headphones is generally referred to as common or consumer headphones. There are also headphones used for gaming which usually have a microphone attached with it. For recording and mixing, you mainly want to stick to studio headphones. 

What’s the difference between studio headphones and the other types? Unlike consumer headphones that are more focused on boosting and improving the sound, studio headphones are the opposite. They produce a more accurate sound because so that you can hear what is truly there when you are mixing. If there is something that needs improvement, you will be able to hear that and correct the problem.

Now that we know the difference, the next question would be how to choose a set of headphones especially for recording your guitar performances? An added fact about this is that they can also be used for practice, so this is a bonus. In choosing headphones, here are the factors you need to know.

1. The quality

Unfortunately, high-quality studio headphones come at a price. But having a long lasting set of headphones will be of utmost importance because they will stay with you as you progress on your musical journey, and you won’t have to buy new ones every step of the way.

2. The sound

Of course, the mark of a great pair of headphones is the quality of sound that they produce. But as said before, what defines a good set of recording headphones is not about boosted bass and treble, it is more about how accurate the tones will be when they’re played back. They also have a wide frequency ranges for maintaining a tonal balance and flatness of frequency.

3. The comfort

Unlike any other equipment, studio headphones are generally worn all the time. Not only do you wear them during recording and mixing, but you’ll also wear them during practicing, which at times could take hours. According to Pickup Plug, this is why it is not only important for your headphones to have good sound quality, but you should also know if they are comfortable enough to use for a long period of time. All you need to do is to know about the materials of the ear pads. Consider also the weight. The heavier sets of headphones are usually less comfortable than the alternatives.

If you are still confused or do not know where to start, asking for recommendations and reading reviews will be a good help.

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Choosing a Sofa For a Small Living Room

A home is still a home no matter what size it is. It is the place where you can relax after a long day or even a week. It is the place where you can be yourself. It is the place where you can welcome your friends and family. You can also express yourself and show your personality through your home. Be it by the decorations and furniture you choose and also the color scheme of both inside and outside of your house.

Decorating is not that easy at seems though. Aside from your personal tastes, you will also need to consider your budget you are willing to use. The size of your house is also an effect. If you have a small space, how can you choose something that will be right and fit into your house?

Let us start with the living room. It is where we entertain our guests, so you should pick the proper sofa where they will sit around and that will make them comfortable and at ease.

The Right Size

Make sure you know the size of your space. You can measure the dimensions and even take some pictures. This way, you can also ask help from others in choosing the right size. You can even consider choosing a type of sofa that is great for small spaces. An example is the corner sofa or the L-shaped sofa. As the name suggests, it is placed in the corner, so it will provide more space in the other areas of the room. It is also large enough to accommodate visitors. Another example is the futon which is handy when your visitors are going to stay over. Having a small space might mean no extra rooms or to small to even have an airbed. A futon can be turned into a bed, so it can be the sleeping space of your visitor. 

Style and Functionality

As said before, your home brings out your personality and lifestyle, so be sure to choose something that will fit those. If you have frequent guests, you might consider the options mentioned above. And of course, as for the style, there is a variety to choose from colors to styles to patterns. Not only that, but the texture will also be your choice and preference. It could be soft and cushiony or firm and sturdy. Smaller spaces opt for a minimalistic approach for decorating as it is ideal. You can still add a few framed painting or pictures here and there and also some potted plants but that is it mostly. Because of this, it is important to have your sofa stylish enough to catch the eye yet also functional.

Consider Other Furniture

A sofa will likely not be the only furniture in your living room. You will also certainly have a coffee table and even some shelves. So in choosing the sofa, be sure that they complement each other in style. This will also affect the size. You could either choose a smaller table that will be enough to maybe have another one for the sides or a bigger one. rf maybe, if you are a book lover, you would want a larger shelf. A great option for this is to have furniture that can also be storage like ottomans. No matter what, it will certainly be less.

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Pressure Washing Tips For Cleaning Concrete Driveway

They say that you will see what kind of person others are in the way they dress and clean up themselves. That is because, with your style, you can express who and what you are. This concept does not only apply to your clothing but also to your home. People will easily judge once they see other people’s home if it is either dirty or clean. They do not even need to go inside your home but one look at your backyard or driveway, they will tend to judge. That is why maintenance is essential.

When it comes to maintaining your driveway, it is advisable to have it cleaned every six months. Sure, you can hire someone to do it, but it would be less expensive for you to do it by yourself. It is not that hard. To get started, all you need is to invest in a pressure washer, and you are good to go. Here are some tips that will help you:

1. Clear the Area

If you have kids and some of their toys are scattered around, put them away. Make sure to put your items away as well, including your car or bike or anything you put in your driveway that will get in the way of your cleaning.

2. Sweep the Area and Look for Stains

After clearing the area, you will also need to sweep it to be free from excess dust as you possibly can. Also, look for stains. Like clothes which stains the cannot be removed by simply putting it in a washer, stains in the concrete cannot be removed by pressurized water alone. You would need to scrub them first.

3. Ready Your Device

After you have done all of the above, you would need to prepare your device by attaching the spray wand and hose. Test it out first before doing anything else to be sure.

4. Apply Detergent

It is time to apply detergent. The procedure might vary somewhat depending on your device, so it is essential to have the users’ manual on hand. The user’s manual will not only inform you in regards to the appropriate detergent loading procedure, but it will also tell you what kinds of chemicals to use. Nozzles are also attached for cleaning, so be sure to have them ready.

5. Wash Concrete

Now, it is time to wash the concrete. It is said before to have your device tested, now it would be advisable to start slow, so you could get used to it for pressure washers tend to be powerful. You can control it by adjusting according to your preferred power and also set your distance. You would need to let the detergent work with the dirt and stains first and clean one section at a time to ensure no uneven streaks.

6. Rinse Concrete

After soaping it, rinse it with water. For it to be faster and more effective, it is recommended to have surface cleaner attachment if you want to. But you can adjust it or attach another nozzle. For additional protection, you can seal the concrete. All you need is a waterproof sealer and put it all over the concrete.

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Very Excited for my New Toy

Recently, I helped a friend of mine install an electric fireplace in his home. Once all was said and done, I was simply amazed at how beautiful, modern, and luxurious the fireplace made his living room seem. It didn’t take much convincing on my end after I saw it in action – and my wife was all for it as well. She has been interested in getting a gas-powered fireplace for years, but we don’t have the plumbing for it yet and installing it retroactively would end up being quite costly. Here’s a picture of the one we installed in my friend’s beautifully, newly renovated home:

Anyway, I’ve been doing quite a bit of research and it seems that there are a number of things to consider when you are choosing an electric fireplace for your home. The first and foremost is the design, and how that impacts installation. The easiest by far are the free-standing models, but they tend to take up quite a bit of space. These are similar to entertainment centers and can even have shelves for holding books and the like. I think I want to go with something that is more built into the room. The insert models are kind of out of the question, as they generally fit into an existing real fireplace (which we don’t have) to take its place. That leaves the wall mount and flush mount options – the flush mounted options particularly look very nice and sleek. They take quite a bit more work to install than other designs, but being the handyman I am I think I’m more than up for the task. For more information, you check out this site which tells you how to choose an electric fireplace for your home.

Do any of my friends out there have any experience with electric fireplaces, or any particular brands/models they can recommend? Let me know soon if you do, I’d appreciate any sort of tips you can offer. Right now I’m looking into the top available models from Amantii, Regal Flames, and Napoleon. They seem to be the leading manufacturers out there today.

What I really like about the electric fireplaces is that they are probably much less hazardous than the gas alternatives that my wife and I had previously considered. On top of that, they seem to be quite a bit more customizable. Fore example, it seems that many of them can be run without emitting any heat, so that you can enjoy their beauty even when your home is already at the right temperature. On top of that, you can even customize the color of the flame on some models! This is probably a little bit of a quirky feature, but it’ll be nice to have I think. I imagine some colors might be better on the eyes during the day as opposed to at night. Anyway, the search continues, but I’m pretty excited about getting this cool new toy and I wanted to share.

Have a great day!

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Back To School

Well, it’s that time of year. We just spent the weekend moving my daughter in to her new dorm room for her third year of college. She’s growing up so fast! This year, because she’s a junior, she was fortunate enough to move into a larger down room. My best way of describing them would be as suites, it’s basically two separate rooms which share a bathroom and a kitchenette/common area. The place is really nice, and way better than the kind of room I had when I was her age! And I wonder where all my hard earned money is going…

One of the biggest things that she asked my help for was in finding a futon so that she could have her friends come and visit. Of course, being the dad that I am, it became my mission to find the best futon available for my (not so little) girl!

The Search

Being the savvy old father that I am, the first place that I turned to get some insight on futons was the internet. There are quite a bit of options available on the market these days, and surprisingly there may even be some good options for our own home. They are available as futons that are really only designed for the short term (i.e. my daughter’s college dorm room) to products that are really quite nice pieces of furniture. They can be fully constructed of imported hardwoods, which can come in a variety of stains and colors. I found this site to be pretty informative with regard to futons, they have some good reviews comparison. I ended up going with a slightly cheaper futon for my daughter, because I’m sure once she moves off on her own she’ll want something a little better. Still though I didn’t opt for the cheapest options because they seemed, well, cheap – both in quality of materials and construction.

The Assembly

This was a bit of a doozy. I forgot my toolbox at home, and the tools that came with the futon were laughable to say the least. I did have some vice grips in my car as well as my leatherman, which were not ideal but I was still able to get the job done. The problem with using tools like this is that you can damage the metal frame which can be unappealing to the eyes. I just had to make sure to go slow and do the best I could, it took me probably 3 hours but eventually I got the job done. Luckily it wasn’t too expensive anyway, because I definitely left some visible teeth marks in a few areas. All in all it wasn’t too bad, and my daughter couldn’t have cared less. She was just happy to have the futon up and running so that she could get us out of her dorm room and back to partying with her friends.

All in all it was a successful move in. While I was working on the futon, her mother was helping her unpack everything and make the place pretty. Her new room is absolutely beautiful, I can’t believe what they are providing the students with these days! Anyway, she sent me all of these pictures so that I could share them here, she does a really good job with her camera.

That’s all for today, hope your students have all moved in safely as well!