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How To Clean a Concrete Patio

Entertaining guests does not have to be always done inside the house. In fact, there are various tips for this. Having a backyard or pool for barbecues will surely be an experience for them. With this, it would be beneficial for you to have a patio. You can also have dinner or lunch parties with it. You can also have your meals in it from time to time for some change. 

A patio can be built with different materials, but it also has different costs and durability. Concrete is one of the most popular choices because of its versatility and adaptability. Add to that, it also costs less than the others but durable enough.

1. Clear the Patio

But of course, like anything in your house, you have to maintain it and clean it regularly. Surely, clean concrete is definitely good for the eyes. With these simple steps, you can definitely do the cleaning on your own:

The first thing you need to do is clear your patio. Put the furniture and plants out of the way. If there are appliances such as a grill and toys of your kids or pets, put them in a safe place. After that, you can sweep or use a leaf blower in removing dirt and leaves. Then wash your concrete with a hose.

2. Mix the Cleaning Solutions

Then it is time to mix the solutions you will use. There are three solutions you can use. First is the baking soda and bleach paste that is good for stains. If you want more environmentally friendly, vinegar and baking soda paste will be good for that. For the smaller areas, have vinegar, salt, and water in a spray bottle to apply it on your targeted zones.

3. Clean

Before you do your clean, protect the nearby plants by hosing them with water or covering them. Then, apply the solution and let it sit for a while. Then scrub it with a brush. Use one that has a long handle, so it will be easier and comfortable. For deeper stains and mildews, be sure to use the right solution for it. This may also require to let the solution sit in longer. Another alternative would be using a pressure washer to be more convenient especially for tougher stains and molds. Just be sure you know how to use it because it might affect or even damage your concrete. Also, be aware of the solutions you will use with it because some of them are damaging to the washer. Another thing to watch out for is the nearby plants. The high pressure might destroy them.

4. Rinse

After all of that, rinse away the solutions from the concrete. If the nearby plant is not covered, have them sprayed with more water. Then let the concrete dry. If you want, you can apply a sealer to provide more protection from future stains. Once it is all dry, you can rearrange your patio and is ready for use again.

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How To Combine Your Living and Dining Room Together In Small Spaces

You do not really need a big place to be able to bond with your family and friends that is why a small home is nice to have. It is enough for you to start. It is cozy and intimate which is good for conversations and catching ups. 

But of course, the downside of it is the lack of space. You have to get used to having a minimalist lifestyle for your small space does not bear much. One of the ways in maximizing the space is having two rooms in one. You could have your home office in your bedroom. There will not be any guest rooms and visitors opt to sleep in the living room instead. But one of the tricky parts is having the living room and dining room as one. Sure, it is not as bad as it sounds because both rooms are the usual place to have gatherings and entertain guests. But how would you have them separated? With these tips, you will be able to maximize your space but still having two separate uses.

Furniture

When it comes to furniture, the fewer the better, so it will not take that much space. You can have the basic ones for both rooms. You could have tables and chairs for the dining room then a sofa and maybe a few more seats and a table for the living room. Even if it is just a few, why not look for comfortable furniture that will make you relax and also welcoming for your guests. Another tip is getting furniture that is smaller in size, so you could accommodate to both rooms.

Decor and Theme

Decors are essential for the room to look pleasing to the eye. So, how will work when the room is divided into two purposes? The solution to that is to have coordinating decors. You can up with a theme that will be good for both rooms. It could be something simple like having them color coordinated. You could also do something about the interior style and in order to do that, the furniture is going to be a factor. An example is if you have contemporary furniture for your living room, it is advisable to have your dining room have contemporary furniture too, so they will match. You could also make a theme. A very good example is making it look like a cafe, and it will be nice since cafes are known for being cozy.

Wall Color

Make sure that the color you will choose matches for both the dining room and living room. It is said that light colors, such as white and cream, will help enlarge the room at least visually. This would make the room look less cramped. Add to that, these colors are easy to coordinate with furniture for they are neutral. When you want to pick something else, be sure that it will put the room together and not clash.

Lighting

Lighting will also help with having the room visually large. You could add lamps all around to make it brighter. As for the overhead lights, you can have designs that will match the overall design of the room.

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How To Clean A Wood Deck Naturally

A home is a nice way to show your personality. In fact, it is said that you usually show your true self when you are at home. So the decorations and style of your house most likely speak about you. And this applies to both the interior and exterior of the house. Some would tend to get more focus on the inside, but it is the outside of the house that people will see. That is why they make an effort in beautifying the backyard and adding something on the outside. One of those is the wooden deck. It is simple but adds a lot of character. Of course, like any other part of the house, you need to know how to maintain it and to maintain it, you will have to clean them.

It might sound intimidating but with these following steps, you can definitely do it by yourself.

1. Prepare

First off is to clear your deck. Remove anything that will get in your way from cleaning like potted plants or tables or chairs. If needed, you can cover them if you think they will need protection.

2. Sweep

After clearing the area, sweep the deck and stairs for any debris. Look also for cobwebs and remove them.

3. Wash

Now it is time to wash your deck. It can be done in different ways. But before that, you must pre-treat stains, algae, and molds first. It should be done by appropriate chemicals. If this will not be done first, they might come back sooner. Then after that, you can now wash your deck. It could be by a regular hose but be sure to have your deck rinsed thoroughly. Another option and more efficient is by a power washer. Just be sure that you know the instructions on how to use it. It tends to get too powerful that it can remove paint. If you are planning to do that, then having a power washer is more useful for you now. Not only the power may impact you in using it will also affect and damage the wood that could cause splintering and fraying if you use it with much power so be sure you know the proper technique and how to use the power washer.

4. Clean

After washing, it is time to clean your deck. There are different kinds of cleaning solutions you can use. In choosing though, you will need to consider something that will not damage your wood. It is also important to use a product that will not be harmful to you, your family, and even your pets. Use a long-handled brush in applying the solution and leave it for a while. Then after that, be sure to rinse thoroughly, removing the solution very well.

5. Seal

After all that, you will need to seal your deck for protection from ultraviolet light and prevention of forming mold and mildew and also from water damage. You will just have to purchase a sealer. You can have a waterproof one for more effectivity. Apply it according to instructions. After that, you can now place your tables, chairs, plants, and other decorations back.

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Large Living Room Layout Ideas

There is something therapeutic with arranging your own room. You will get to decide the best place to have your furniture. You will be the one to choose the color scheme. You will also be able to add your own decorations. Whatever you do, you will add your personal touch that will reflect who and what you are.

It is not that easy though especially if your living room is large. The problem with it is that the living room will not look too cozy. What can you do with all of those spaces? Will you leave them bare? Maybe you can make your room look smaller? Here are some tips that will help you on how you will arrange your large living room:

Color

If you are thinking of wanting to make your room look smaller, painting your walls in a darker shade can do that. Patterns also can create an illusion. Wainscoting or masquerading is also one of the good solutions for this.

Texture

Like the color, texture can also create an illusion regarding the size. So, if you want to make it look bigger than it is, glossy and polished will work for that. If not, have a more rough look that can be done with wallpapers and the flooring.

Furniture

When it comes to large spaces, the division is the key. You can have a focal point, such as a television or a fireplace then have a large sofa and table right in the middle then have some other nice furniture on the side of it. You can arrange them symmetrically if you want. Two smaller seats at each side with side tables and shelves to fill up space. Some will opt to have another function like making a smaller seating area in the corner for reading or working. 

Decor

To make good use of the height, you will need to decide on the perfect curtains. Long curtains can be the key to this, and you can hang them higher than the window frames if it does not fit then place a shelf or any other framed decor to distract from them. A simple solution with your bare walls would be putting large framed pictures or artwork. Just make sure you know how to balance it with your furniture and the color of your room. Another item that will not only add up to your space but also put added interest and design is a large rug. You could either have one that will cover the entirety of your floor. But if you are planning to have your room in section, you can use multiple rugs that will fit those.

Lighting

The usual main light feature of a large living room is a chandelier. Be sure it is not too big to be distracting or too small that is barely noticed. Large rooms often come with large windows, so natural light during the day will not be a problem. You can make use of the space to add more lamps, so it will be more illuminated during the night. Corners and side seating will be a perfect place for them.

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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 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 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.