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Monthly Archives: July 2016

Cleaning Windows Tips

Vinegar is a miracle from nature. Completely non-toxic and anti-bacterial, vinegar is actually beneficial to any surface it touches. It safely kills germs and is much more economical than chemical cleaning solutions. It’s not even harmful when accidentally inhaled or ingested. (If you’ve got kids, you’ll love that part).

The acidic composition of vinegar acts quickly to break down the kind of film that frequently accumulates on glass surfaces. When you wash a window using a solution that contains vinegar, the results will almost always be free from streaks and sparkling clean.

Recipes for Vinegar Window Washing Solution

Martha Stewart included a section with detailed recommendations for window washing in her series, “20 More Things Everyone Should Know”. Below are a few choice tips, along with her vinegar window-washing recipe.

  1. Mix one part hot water to one part distilled vinegar.
  2. Sponge cleaning: Moisten the window, using the solution, then clean.
  3. Squeegee cleaning: Always dampen the squeegee first and clean from the top down, wiping the edge of the squeegee after every stroke.
  4. Clean only when there is no direct sun on the windows.
  5. Rinse and dry the window frames immediately to avoid any damage.

Green Living, from National Geographic, recommends this simple recipe, plus a few extra tips for the best window cleaning outcome.

  1. In a spray bottle, mix 50% distilled vinegar (white) and 50% tap water.
  2. For extremely grimy glass, prewash with very soapy water, then go to the vinegar spray.
  3. Got highly resistent spots? Try rubbing hard with a cloth dipped in undiluted vinegar.

Are the Streaks Still Blurring Your View?

Don’t blame the vinegar. Streaks are caused by residue left on the glass by commercial products. The answer? See the information below :

First Vinegar Wash

  • 2 c. water
  • 1/4 c. white vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. dishwashing detergent or liquid
  • Combine these ingredients in a spray bottle, then just spray and clean.

Forever After Vinegar Wash

  • 1 c. water
  • 1 c. white vinegar
  • Combine these ingredients in a spray bottle, spray and clean. This is for normal windows.

Vinegar Wash For Horribly Grimy Windows

  • 1 c. full strength white vinegar
  • Warm up the solution and use directly on glass to clean.

What’s the Best Wipe?

You can ensure a streak-free, squeaky clean window by using one of the above tips and wiping with paper towels, microfiber cloths or newspaper. Whatever you use, make sure its lint-free.

HINT : Squeegees are harder to get the hang of, but they almost always do a better job.

Homage to Vinegar in the Home

Psst! Reader’s Digest recently published a collection of over 150 uses around the home for common vinegar. Here are just a few to give you a glimpse of tricks you are probably missing out on:

  1. Clean window blinds- A cool idea is to don a pair of white cotton gloves, dip your gloved hands in a 50/50 solution of hot water and white vinegar, then clean the blinds by simply sliding your gloved fingers down each side simultaneously.
  2. Unclog drains- Did you know you could use 1/2 cup of baking soda and 1 cup vinegar to foam clean a stubborn drain? Put the baking soda in first, followed by vinegar and watch the chemical magic. The combo kills bacteria too and is easier on pipes and drains than harsh commercial preparations as well.
  3. Spiff up your silver- Combine 1/4 cup of white vinegar with 1 tablespoon of baking soda and soak your silverware in the solution. Rinse, then dry and voila!

Not just a cooking phenomenon, vinegar is truly the homemaker’s panacea!

Know More about Patio Covers Types

Many homeowners spend a lot of time planning the perfect sun room, carport or porch but give less thought to what goes on top. Choosing the perfect patio covering should be an important part of every addition project, as it will offer protection from the outside elements, including strong winds and heavy snowfalls, while enhancing the look of the space. From pergolas to awnings to patio covers, which roof will work best for your space?

# Pergolas

If your vision of an outdoor space is reminiscent of an Italian garden, a pergola might be the perfect covering for your project. Constructed of wood beams that are oftentimes made of beautiful cedar, pergolas are most often used in garden areas or for outdoor gathering spaces, such as a barbecue area around a pool. The ceiling of a pergola may be flat, curved, or criss-crossed in a lattice type pattern, and the sides can be open, created with a variety of boards cut in the same size, or constructed of one solid piece of board.

Pergolas are not as strong as patio covers or awnings, and they are rarely used on outdoor spaces that need protection from high winds, heavy rains or extreme sunlight. Though a pergola may not be an option for those in need of a stronger, more permanent covering, it is a great addition to an outdoor garden space set up for casual entertaining or simply relaxing among the flowers and shrubs.

# Awnings

Cruise the neighborhoods of Florida and chances are you’ll find beautiful awnings in various shapes and sizes protecting porches and outside patios from the elements. Homeowners across the country enjoy the versatility of awnings, and for good reason. Want to create a bold look? Choose a striped pattern in bright colors. Feeling more subdued? Go neutral or one shade.  From scalloped edges to straight valances, awnings can really decorate your outdoor living space.

Retractable awnings offer homeowners the ability to pull in the covering in the event of a strong storm, heavy winds or strong snowfalls, and they can be either manually or electrically controlled. Though some awnings are able to withstand hurricane-forced winds, it’s always best to retract the awning when it is not in use or in the event of a heavy storm to protect your investment.

# Patio Covers

Great Day Improvements manufactures Patio Enclosures brand stationary aluminum patio covers that feature insulated foam cores. The foam core roof offers protection from the sun’s harsh rays and other outside elements, along with structural I-Beams, which are strong enough to hold up under high winds and blizzard conditions.

To prove their strength we even parked a 5100 pound Hummer on top of a 3” panel using no other support than the existing I-Beams. The roof panel held, proving the dependability of patio coverings. This same roof is used in Patio Enclosures sunrooms as well.

These structural support beams offer:

  • Enough strength to withstand snow loads of 30 lbs. per square foot, and
  • A thermal barrier to reduce the transfer of heat or cold from the outside of the roof to the inside of the panel

Patio covers are manufactured in three neutral colors- white, sandstone and bronze to coordinate with your home’s exterior. In addition, gutters and downspouts can be added to patio covers, to transport the flow of rainwater away from your home.

Add glass roof panels to open your patio to the sky, allowing natural light to filter in throughout the day and stars to fill your view in the evening hours. Special glass roof panel shades can be added to block out direct sunlight and easily removed for star gazing at night. To create the ultimate outdoor space, add a ceiling fan to your patio cover to maximize airflow during the hot summer months.

Whatever your needs, we can create the perfect patio cover for your outdoor space. Everything we build is custom designed specifically for you and your home.

Decorating Mistakes

# Your Wall Art Looks Disorganized

Decorating your home with artwork can be difficult. Marissa Sauer, interior designer and founder of Design MACS, recommends that each piece of artwork connect spatially to something else in the room. So, if you have a five-foot sofa, choose a four-foot painting.

“It’s important to pick pieces that are to scale with the wall that you’re putting them on. A piece that is too small could look a bit random, and a piece that’s too big can make the room look small and cluttered,” she says. “The art has got to connect to something.”

# You Decorated Your Home with High-Maintenance Furniture

Steer clear of high-maintenance furniture if cleaning every surface in your home is the last thing on your list of chores. Dust will be more noticeable on dark-stained woods and fingerprints will show up quicker on mirrors and glass. If you want your home to look less messy, be mindful of furniture that gets dirtier faster, and clean them first

# Your Walls Look Dated

With current colour trends leaning toward lighter and airier looks, duller colours with brown undertones could make your home seem dated and dirty. “It’s not that they’re bad,” says Sauer. “It just feels a bit dated, and people often connect things that are older with things that are messier.”

# Your Picture Frames Aren’t Arranged Properly

If you want to organize multiple pieces of art, roll a large sheet of paper to the size of the space you’d like to fill. Place the sheet on the floor and shift around your picture frames until you finds a setup you like. Traces each frame and mark where each nail needs to go to hang them. Finally, tape the paper to the wall, put all the nails in where the dots are, and tear the paper down.

# You Have Exposed Cords Everywhere

Nothing says clutter — and danger — like a bunch of exposed cords and power strips around your home. Identify each room’s problem spots and look into creative ways to conceal. For example, your computer’s power strip can be hung in a basket underneath the desk.

# You Over-Decorated

When organizing objects on tables and shelves, keep everything in groups of three, five or seven. Also make sure there’s a clear focal point and lots of white space, advises Sauer. To keep things interesting, put objects of different heights together, and if you have a square table, position them on a 45-degree angle.

# Your Rug is Not the Right Size

To pull your living room together and make it look like one unit (as opposed to randomly placed furniture), make sure the front feet of each piece of furniture in your seating area is on top of the rug.

# Your Sofa and Pillows Look Flat

Fluff everything up and make sure your upholstery is in top shape — a wrinkled slipcover can make your living room look messy, while deformed pillows can make yourbedroom less inviting.