Category Archives: Home Improvement

Energy Efficient Storm Doors

With all the climate changes we’ve been experiencing over the past decade or so, storm doors have become a must-have in many regions in the US. After all, Texas, Carolina, Louisiana, Florida, and many other states have been devastated by storms, hurricanes, floods and other natural calamities. The most sensitive and vulnerable parts of a house are its exterior doors, windows and a roof. It is important that they are as solid and secure as possible, in order to prevent damage from storms or thieves breaking into your home.

Do I need a Storm Door?

If you are in the way of big hurricanes such as the one that devastated New Orleans a few years ago, you should consider doing something more for your protection, namely buying a storm-resistant door. There are many brands of storm doors and windows such as Larson, Pella, Andersen, Victoriana or EMCO Enterprises. Houses built in windy regions could also be better protected with storm doors and windows. As a conclusion, if you experience tempests at least twice a year, maybe you should consider buying such an exterior door for your house. It is better to be safe than sorry. Such security doors usually have retractable screens and resistant glass windows. Most of the times, the seller would provide you installation services, because this is very important to be done correctly, in order to secure your home against storms, water and cold. If you are renovating a house, either to flip it for profit, or to live in it, you could think of buying storm doors to replace the existent ones. This small thing can increase the value of a house on the market, so it is not to be neglected.

So, try to consider all facts and make an informed decision about whether or not your home really need storm doors.

How to Refinish Kitchen Cabinets

Kitchen remodeling can without a doubt be quite expensive, and can easily leave a large whole in your pockets. One way to remodel your old without spending a lot of money is by restoring and renovating your existing kitchen cabinets. After all, kitchen cabinets are usually the most abused part of a kitchen. Fixing up or replacing your old cabinetry can provide a dramatic change in the overall feel of your kitchen.

There are many ways to change your worn out cabinets to achieve a custom look at an affordable price. If your cabinets are in good shape, there are other options besides replacing them. They include painting, refinishing, refacing, or simply adding new hardware.

  1. Those on a fixed or tight budget should consider changing the hardware to renew the old cabinets. New pulls and even new hinges can drastically change the look of cabinets.
  2. Painting kitchen cabinets also provides a drastic change without breaking the bank. Select a paint color that complements your wall and counter top color when kitchen remodeling.Refinishing kitchen cabinets is a little more involved. It requires removing the old stain, or sometimes paint, with a stripping product. The difficult part with refinishing is that you not only must strip or refinish the cabinet doors and drawers, but the entire inside and outside of the cabinets themselves to achieve the best look. Consider hiring a professional for this messy job when kitchen remodeling. Choose a different paint or stain color than the original for a new, fresh look.
  3. Refacing kitchen cabinets is more expensive than refinishing them when kitchen remodeling. It is still cheaper than replacing kitchen cabinets. Remove the cabinet doors, strip them of paint or stain, and repair any damage. After selecting a new laminate or wood surface for the cabinets, reface the doors, drawers, and outside of the cabinets with the new surface. Paint the inside of the cabinets a complementary color. Once the refacing job is finished, install new hardware and the doors and drawers. Refacing kitchen cabinets is difficult and time consuming. Consider hiring a professional kitchen remodeling contractor, and select your new kitchen cabinet surface wisely.

The last option is totally replacing your old cabinets with new ones. You can save some money by going with  non-assembled and unfinished cabinets. Buying brand new assembled and fished cabinets is obviously the most costly choice. Kitchen cabinets are also difficult to install, possibly requiring the hiring of a contractor and having the new cabinets delivered.

New cabinets can transform a kitchen. The down side is that your kitchen is typically unusable during kitchen remodeling. However, it is a great excuse to check out all the new restaurants in your area.

PlexiGlass Windows Vs. Glass Windows

Many people choose to use plexiglass for windows. Plexi glass is lightweight, transparent, and can withstand hot and cold temperatures. Plexiglass is also known as Polycarbonate and more common as lexan. Many people will use the term plexiglass acrylic and polycarbonate or lexan as meaning the same, when they are two different materials. Lexan is the happy medium between acrylic and glass applications. It is stronger than those two materials, and can be used in applications where glass or acrylic will not suffice. Some people consider plexiglass to replace a broken glass window. Contractors building a new home consider this material as well for many reasons.

Plexi Glass Vs. Regular Glass – Benefits and advantages

One advantage to plexiglass is that it is easier to work with that heavy glass. Another benefit is that it is sturdy and can withstand a blow or extreme weather better than glass. A kid playing with a ball is a good example of this. Plexiglass is more pliable, and gives more bounce than glass does. However, when working with this material, it is important to be careful as it can also break and crack.

Plexiglass window insert packages are sold in hardware stores or home improvement centers. This is very convenient for the do it yourselfer and an easy way to replace a damaged glass window.

It is important to clean plexiglass the old fashioned way, with a clean rag or cloth and water. Because it is plastic, ammonia and harsh soaps or chemicals cannot be used on it, as it will damage the material, corrode it, fog it permanently, opaque it, or scratch it.

Another down to plexiglass is that with time, areas that are hit with much sunlight will tend to change color – yellowish – and they get brittle and may crack. Plexiglass is also an expensive material.

Plexiglass sheets come in many solid colors other than clear – red, blue, green, yellow, orange, and brown. It also comes in transparent color sheets. Fluorescent color transparent sheets are also available, so are solid white and black sheets. Plexiglass is also made in non-glare sheets or frosted sheets. Non-glare sheets reduce and minimize reflection and glare, and frosted sheets offer a bit more privacy while letting light in. Plexiglass acrylic mirror sheets are available as a better choice for interior decoration uses, and safer, easier to use.

Whatever type of plexiglass you decide to use in your window will depend on the purpose – décor, privacy, special effects, aesthetics, durability – also, it is important to consider the amount of sun the window will receive, especially if using colored plexiglass.