Prevention Is Important Key To Avoiding Frozen Pipes

During January and early February, the Northern Hemisphere experiences its coldest temperatures of the year. It is during this time that unprotected and uninsulated water pipes are most likely to freeze and break, thus costing you hundreds of dollars in repairs. Even buildings in the Northern United States are prone to this problem when temperatures hit record lows or if there are holes in the building that allow cold air circulation.


Insulate Pipes To Mitigate Effects of Freezing Temperatures

To prevent frozen pipes this winter, there are several steps you can take. If you live in an older home, your pipes may not have the insulation necessary to prevent freezing. Pipes most vulnerable are those along the outer foundation wall, in attics, or those near holes drilled to allow for television cables and phone lines access to the building. An expensive fix is to pay a plumber to reroute water lines through more insulated parts of your home. More reasonably priced is the option of purchasing insulation sleeves, foam rubber, or wrapping from a hardware store and installing it on your piping yourself.


Relieve Pipe Pressure With Dripping Faucet

Many people think pipe breakage is due to the expansion of ice in the pipe. What actually happens, however, is that when a pipe is totally blocked by ice, the water trapped between the ice plug and the faucet becomes pressurized. The more ice forms and the longer the pressure is sustained, the more likely it is the pipes will burst. Allowing your faucet to drip even the slowest of drips relieves this pressure. Be sure if the faucet is equipped with both hot and cold lines that you leave both lines turned on slightly, as both may be prone to freezing.


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Lead Paint Regulation Affects Remodeling of Homes Built Prior To 1978

In 2010, a federal regulation was enacted which strictly states new guidelines for the renovation or painting of houses built earlier than 1978. If you plan on disturbing a section of wall greater than 6 square feet in schools, child care facilities, or homes that predate 1978, they must first be tested for the presence of lead paint.

If lead paint is found in the building, remodeling or painting must be carried out by certified contractors trained in strategies for preventing lead contamination. Exposure to lead paint is especially hazardous to infants, children, and pregnant women. However, exposure can only occur if the lead paint is disturbed. Sanding, wall reconstruction, and cutting can all disturb the paint, sending lead particles and chips into the air.

Studies have found a variety of side effects linked to lead poisoning, including behavioral problems, learning disabilities, and a diminished IQ in children. Pregnant women run the same risks as any exposure they receive is transferred directly to the unborn fetus. And while the effects are not so numerous in other age populations, lead poisoning has been found to cause hypertension and high blood pressure in adults and the elderly.

If you live in a home built prior to 1978, whether you plan on renovating it or not, here are some tips for reducing the risk of lead paint exposure to you and your household:

·         Wipe down floors, counters, and window sills as needed to reduce dust accumulation

·         Wash children’s hands, utensils, pacifiers, toys, etc. frequently

·         Clean up or have repaired all cracked paint or paint chips

And of course, if you’re renovating, talk to your contractors about other precautions you might take to make sure your family stays healthy and safe.

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Tips To Make Your Next Home Remodeling Project Easier

Unless you’re independently wealthy or related to an architect or a contractor, the home remodeling process might seem like an expensive, scary labyrinth full of pitfalls and dead ends. It doesn’t have to be. Don’t be intimidated by construction jargon or the task of getting your wants communicated. There are some quick and easy ways to make sure you get what you want out of your next remodel.

Set Your Ideas To Paper

We’re not all as articulate as we’d like to be and when dealing with concrete ideas, so it’s best to use concrete media to communicate. To help yourself out, measure your rooms and use grid paper to draw out your house. Come up with a scale, like having each grid square equal to two square feet, so that you can be sure you and the contractor are thinking in terms of the same size and dimensions.

Get An Estimate Before You Go To The Bank

Depending on your remodeling project, you’ll likely want to talk to an electrician, a plumber, and a contractor to find out their estimates for how much your remodel will cost. If you or a family member can do some of the work yourself, you could save yourself some substantial money, so ask around first. Remember that contractors are often willing to negotiate on price.

Get A Loan 10% Higher Than The Estimate

You’ve heard the old adage about the best laid plans of mice and men—they often go astray. So no matter how sure you are about how much your project will cost, apply for a loan 10% higher. If you don’t end up using it, you can always pay the extra back immediately.

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Tips And Tricks For Easy Kitchen Remodels

Your kitchen is likely the hardest-working room in your home, so it makes sense it’s also often the first to wear out. Think of how many feet travel across its well-worn floor, how many plates and papers and food items are smeared across its counters, how often water is splashed onto the cupboards and walls. Of course, everyone would love a remodel on their kitchen now and then, but the problem usually comes down to the availability of time and money.

Have you ever considered, however, how many types of do-it-yourself kitchen remodeling projects there are? And you don’t even have to be a contractor, cabinet maker, or interior decorator to pull them off. Here are a few ideas to help get you started.



Replacing your floors can be one of the best ways to bring your kitchen up to date. To cut down on costs, consider installing the flooring yourself. You can often rent or borrow the tools necessary. If you want to install tile, you’ll need a wet saw, for wood and laminate, use a cut-off saw.



Cabinets are some of the most visible items in a kitchen and so it will make all the difference if you choose to remodel or redecorate them. Many home improvement stores have begun making homeowners’ lives easier by selling easy-to-install cabinetry with simple, easy-to-follow instructions included. The main tools you’ll need for this project are a drill, drill bits, and a level.



The options are diverse in this category. You might paint one wall an accent color, add a wallpaper border, remove or increase the amount of wall texture, or do some combination of all of the above. The most you’ll need for this project is the right paint, the wall paper, and possibly a ladder.


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Redecorating Resolutions For Your Home

If you haven’t sat down and written out your list of New Year’s Resolutions yet, it’s not too late! And even if you have some sort of list in mind, you might want to add a note somewhere to “reorganize” or “redecorate” your home.
These words are often enough to strike fear into homeowners’ hearts, but redecoration doesn’t have to be expensive or intense. It can be as simple as painting a wall in your bedroom a new accent color or cleaning out under the bed. Several interior designers have weighed in on the subject to give you some simple, yet elegant solutions to your redecorating needs.

Spring Cleaning Turbo Charged
You don’t have to do a complete and thorough cleaning of your home yet. Instead, Desi Creswell of Desi Interior Design suggests you “tackle one space at a time and give [yourself] a time limit to help keep [yourself] focused (say 30 minuDtes to an hour).” After that time limit is up, look at what you need to toss and what is left and then go out and buy matching storage containers to keep your remaining belongings organized.

Rearrange And Renew
Has it been a while since you rearranged your furniture? Sometimes that’s all it takes to make your house feel fresh and revitalized. You can do the same thing with art and other wall decorations. Maybe it’s time to switch out a few of those photographs hanging on the wall. Also, decide on one thing you can buy to increase your comfort—whether it’s a new nightstand for the bedroom or an updated lamp for the living room.

Out With The Old
Go through your sock drawer, sift through your shirts, and try on those old pairs of jeans. Anything that doesn’t fit or that you don’t like doesn’t need to hang around. Do the same with the belongings with every member of your household and you’ll be surprised how it all adds up.

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Remodeling Or Finishing Your Basement Can Add Valuable Square Footage

Do you want more room in your house but don’t have enough property to enlarge it on the ground floor? Consider going subterranean. Houses with unfinished basements in particular are great candidates for this type of remodel, but people are often intimidated by the idea.

Benefits of A Basement
Why a basement? Going down is substantially cheaper than trying to build up as you don’t have to deal with constructing a new roof or adding structural supports. Buying a new house, of course, involves a whole other set of time and money commitments. If your home doesn’t have an unfinished basement, you might be surprised to learn it’s even possible to add a basement to an existing house even if your home was a one-story building to begin with. So what are you waiting for?

Designing A Floor Plan
The first thing to do when finishing or constructing a basement is to come up with a decent, livable floor plan. Two architectural terms to keep in mind are “flow” and “circulation.” How will people move from one room to another? What do you plan on using the room for? For example, if you want to turn it into a home theater, you won’t want the main flow of traffic channeled in front of the theater wall.

Adding Natural Light
People often don’t like basements because of their lack of natural light. However, there are many options for choosing the size, number, and location of your windows to maximize outside light. Keep in mind as you do so that there are building codes for basements. The International Residential Code states that each basement bedroom needs a window “with a lower ledge no more than 44 inches from the floor and at least 5.7 square feet of clear opening space.”

Basements can be great boons to you and your household. If more space if what you want, look into this option to see if it could work for your home.

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Popular Interior Decorator Emanuel “Manny” Feingold Passes Away At Age 93

Known best for his love of contemporary design and for his design of the Quadrille restaurant in the old Belden-Stratford Hotel, Emanuel Feingold was a sought-after interior designer for much of his life and even continued to tweak and redecorate his own home until the day he died.


Feingold’s Upbringing

Feingold came to the United States from Lithuania as a toddler and was raised in a house designed by a pupil of Frank Lloyd Wright, which upbringing possibly inspired in him his love of interior decorating. After serving in World War II as an army supply manager, he attended Northwestern University in Chicago where he received his bachelor’s degree in business and his master’s in art history and design.


The Start of His Popularity

After completing his education, Feingold started his own business, Emanuel Feingold Interiors, where he achieved his popularity. His niece, Roni Reisler, said his business “started with relatives and it grew. To our knowledge he never actually advertised. One family in Bloomfield Hills [Mich.], he did [decorating for] three generations. He did the grandmother, the daughter, and the graddaughter.”


His Key To Success: Kindness To Customers

He was also known for his integrity and kindness to his customers. In a biographical video produced by Retrospection Media, Feingold himself said, “To care for [clients], I don’t think makes you the best businessman, but that does make you the happiest person.” Wise words from a man who boasted nearly a century of life.

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