Gutter Maintenance

One of the most overlooked aspects of a home is the gutter and downspout. These are some of the most inexpensive elements to maintain and replace but they are often forgotten and left untreated. There are just a few steps to follow to maintain your gutters.

Clean the debris (leaves, sticks, trash, and mud) from your gutters every few months. This will prevent clogging and erosion in your existing gutter system. If you have never cleaned your gutters you probably have some damage that will require you to replace the system. Luckily, gutter installation and materials are relatively inexpensive. Use a roofing or siding contractor or another professional to ensure the installation is done properly to avoid future damage


If your gutters are rusted or sagging, even with routine cleanings, it is probably time to upgrade to a newer system. Many gutters are now made with aluminum and vinyl to prevent rust in the future. There are also more expensive options like copper that serve the same purpose but look more aesthetically appealing.
Be sure to have a splash block below the downspout. This will keep the water falling through the downspout from pooling and gathering at the foot of the spout, next to the house. This will help keep water from building close the home’s foundation.
Gutters and downspouts are an easy home improvement project that can be done in an afternoon. Clean gutters can also increase your home’s curb appeal. Make a point to routinely check and clean your gutter system.

Coleman Stoves 7 Tips On Caring And Cleaning

Coleman stoves are more efficient and look more dazzling when its in clean, and in spick and span shape. Proper cleaning and caring for your Coleman stoves would ensure you that it stays in top shape, looking brand new and will reap you benefits including better fuel efficiency, control of flame and absence of rust and oxidization.

Here are some tips on caring and cleaning for your Coleman stoves to make sure they last a long time doing cooking service for you and your family.

First tip: Clean your stove every after use to avoid build-up on burners. When its not going to be used for some time, you should still clean it regularly. Wipe the surface of your camping stove with warm water and dishwashing soap. It is very important that you dry it completely before storing.

Second tip: For more thorough cleaning, especially after a boil-over, unscrew the burner rings and bowls to check if there are any fluid or food debris on the manifold. In case there is build-up, soap with dishwashing detergent diluted with warm water then rinse it with clean water.

Third tip: For worse case like heavy volumes of grease and dirt build-up inside the case or on the burners, it is a good idea to bring the stove to a car wash for high-pressurized washing. Turn the stove upside down after the clean up to ensure that there is no water residue inside the manifold that can cause for it to rust and disrupt the efficiency of the stove.

Fourth tip: Store your Coleman stove properly after cleaning. Place it inside a plastic bag and seal it so that spiders or other crawling insects that can block fuel and airflow will not be able to crawl their way through the stove. This is also important to keep it dry and prevent rusting of the parts..

Fifth tip: If you have a liquid fuel stove, it is important that you transfer as much fuel as possible from the fuel tank to the fuel can to avoid the build-up of on the fuel tube of the tank. This is necessary to avoid fuel build-up on the fuel tube which can restrict the flow of fuel to the generator and burner.

Sixth tip: Oil the pump cup on the tanks pump plunger with machine oil at least two times every year to allow the cup to seal against the inside of pump barrel and keep the pump working smoothly.

Seventh tip: Read the manual of the stove carefully and follow all instructions for cleaning and caring.

Take care of your Coleman stove, needless to say, it is a worthy camping equipment investment.
But making a camping trip a great family time is not all about fun and games. Its not all about great food and great hiking. Sure, you have to bring your family to a nice camping site and create exciting and wonderful camping activities and games for them, but also one of the most important aspects of camping that you should never overlook is camp safety.

Home Improvement; Guidelines for Selecting a Contractor

In todays world the most valuable asset owned by people is their home. And when considering any size home improvement project, protecting this investment should be top priority.

The first step in any remodeling or improvement project is to select the right contractor. Prudent homeowners will make their selection carefully and after thoughtful consideration. Is the contractor licensed, and is he experienced? If so, in what particular area is his expertise?

How to find a Qualified Contractor:

One source for locating a qualified, experienced contractor is from other people who have had similar remodeling work done. When talking with contractors, request references and take the time to check them out.

Check with a service that keeps track records of various contractors. You can also use online resources, such as Handy, for locating a qualified contractor in your area.

Hire only a home improvement contractor with strong referrals and high rankings. Depending on the type of project you are planning, you may need to deal with any of the following professional contractors:

Architects are designers of homes, buildings, and home improvement remodeling projects. You may want to consult one if your project includes new construction or structural changes.

Designers usually have expertise in a certain area of the home, such as interior decorating, and bedroom or bath design.

Design/build contractors see your project through from concept to completed construction, and may have an architect or certified designer on staff.

General Contactors oversee the entire construction process, and sub-contract specialized contractors such as plumbers or electricians.

Specialized contractors are highly proficient in their individual area, such as dry wall, paint, or cabinetry.

Questions to ask before selecting a contractor for your home improvement might include: How long have you been contracting? What licenses and certifications do you carry? How many projects have you completed in the last year; what were they, and who were they for?

Ask, What references do you have? Will there be any subcontractors, and if so what are their credentials? What insurance coverage do you have? What permits are required for my project?

Be Thorough in Your Search

You might also want to check with the appropriate government office to see whether or not there are any unresolved complaints against the contractor before making your final selection.

Check out all references provided and ask questions such as: Was the project completed on time and were you happy with the results? How well did the contractor communicate with you throughout the project? Were there any cost over-runs?

Also ask if the contractor employees were on time, courteous, and whether or not they cleaned up the home improvement site when they were finished?

Canadian residents have the opportunity to use the Internet to assist in the screening process by visiting Handy

By following these guidelines, you help insure a successful home improvement!

Ideas to Give Old Furniture New Life

The best thing about old furniture is the new life you can give it. It doesnt take much talent just a little creativity and patience if youve never taken on a furniture project before.

Accept this challenge: instead of throwing out that old chest of drawers from your childs room, think of a new use for it. Recycling furniture can be a lot of fun, plus its a good way to get a new look at a fraction of the cost. If you are not happy with the finished product, start over or then give in to purchase a new furniture piece.

Think about that old chest of drawers. Is there a drawer thats broken? Maybe you can take out that drawer and create a shelf from the opening. Would it make a nice TV stand if it was just a little taller? Consider screwing finials that you can find in your local discount store onto the bottom to create legs or feet.

And never underestimate the power of a coat of paint! Old furniture gets a quick update when painted. If you like the shabby chic look, tatter the fresh paint job a bit by sanding around corners and other heavy use areas to create a worn look. If its your first time to try this furniture painting technique, invest in an inexpensive kit that can be found at any retail discount store.

If you are really creative and not afraid to try new things with your old furniture, you can create some funky new accessories for your home. Use an old dresser as a sink basin for your bathroom. Use the headboard or footboard from a twin size bed as the back of a bench.

Giving your old furniture a new look does not always include creating a new function for it. For instance, drape and tuck fabric over an old sofa or love seat to give it a slipcovered look. Or, hot glue some fabric on top of the old rattan panels on the coffee table youve had for years. Trim it out by hot gluing some braided trim around the edges and youve created a new look for the table.

If your piece of furniture was painted but youd like to give it a stained look, give it a try. Most woods are easily stripped of paint and stain can be applied in the color and intensity of your choice. Just follow the directions supplied by the stain manufacturer.

Give the lacquer-look furniture popular in past years an up to date look by using a combination of painting and staining. To get a brown leather look, brush your lacquer furniture lightly first with sand paper just enough to rough up the surface so the paint will adhere better. Then, use a red primer color spray paint on the furniture. Once the primer dries, use an oil-based brown stain and a plastic bag to create the leathery look. Working with a small area at a time, use a sponge brush to paint on the stain. Crinkle a plastic bag and open it up. Press the crinkled bag on top of the stain and sweep the bag quickly off the furniture. The motion will pull the stain around, creating the lines associated with leather. Kits are also available for this technique.

Aluminum Strap Patio Furniture Sets

When looking for a great patio furniture set that will last, a type to consider is aluminum strap patio furniture sets. Aluminum patio furniture sets have improved by leaps and bounds since the days of lightweight folding chairs, which usually fold when theyre not supposed to. The construction, maintenance, storage, and appearance of aluminum patio furniture makes it a great choice for hassle-free patio furniture.

Aluminum strap patio furniture is now made from the finest components. The hardware used is all virtually stainless. The base and feet of aluminum strap patio furniture is also equipped with aluminum skids which protect any type of patio surface. Aluminum strap patio furniture is created from welded aluminum frames which ensure durability. They are then powder coated in a process that makes aluminum patio furniture more comfortable and resilient than ever.

Most aluminum strap patio furniture pieces stack very easily. This is convenient for storage, especially for hotels or commercial sites like pools and beaches. There are some types of aluminum strap furniture that do not stack. These pieces usually have more details and accessories that do not allow for stacking. These additional accessories, however, add a touch of elegance to otherwise simple furniture, and the reduced storage capacity may be worth sacrificing for a more up-scale patio look.

So what is out there for aluminum strap patio furniture sets? Some sets are simple double wrapped vinyl straps, while others feature a criss-cross basket weave design that is even more elegant. Aluminum strap patio chaise lounges offer superior comfort. Complete with armrests, back braces, optimal ground clearance, and wide range reclining adjustment, just about anyone can get comfortable. Also available are aluminum strap patio bar stools and tables. These are perfect for casual outdoor dining, or catching a drink pool side. And aluminum strap patio furniture sets are also available in a wide range of colors.

Aluminum strap patio furniture sets are one of the most versatile types of patio furniture on the market. They are ideal sets for either commercial or residential patios.