Before You Paint: Painting 101

Siding and Window replacement was done then the whole exterior of the home was painted

Welcome class to Painting 101. This will be a primer on what you need to know about paint for your home or office. One of the quickest and cheapest ways to change the look of any room is to paint it. A fresh coat of paint can make a space look cleaner, brighter and more inviting. Painting is one of the top home improvement projects that homeowners seek to have done. Some take this project on themselves because with a steady hand and a low investment in a paint brush, roller, paint holders, a ladder and painter’s tarp; one is ready to tackle most any project around the house.

Whether you are planning to tackle your painting project yourself or hiring it out; make sure these points are addressed so your final product will look great and last like it should.

Hundreds of colors to choose from

  1. Pick A Color of Paint: This may be easy for some, but this can be a daunting task for others. Start by looking around to see what focal points or stationary items that you have that you cannot change or don’t want to change the colors of at his moment (brick fireplace, bathtub, flooring, wood trim, furniture, appliances…etc.). Your color choices must compliment these items. There are many shades of each color. Be careful to notice the different shades each color has; such as a gray paint can be a brownish gray, blueish gray or greenish gray. The wrong shade might not accomplish the look that you were going for.

Choose your color with the lighting the room will have. Different lights at the paint shop will give different looks of the paint at home in your lighting. Finding multiple colors that work well together can be tough. At big box stores and paint shops; they will have sample paint cards with multiple complementary colors on them to help you. If you are unsure about a color; you can buy a small sample of the color and paint it on the wall to help you decide. Another option would be to ask a friend that has an artistic eye or hire an interior designer or an able painting contractor to help with paint color selections.

New sheetrock installed. Primed and painted. Ready to bring in the dining room table

Don’t be afraid to add accent colors in your paint schemes to showcase your styles. By indulging yourself with a splash of color on a particular wall can drastically change the looks of the room drawing the eye towards it. This accent color can be done on a wall, trim, built in cabinets or even on a unique piece of furniture depending on your desired look that you are trying to achieve.

A vibrant orange accent color was chosen in this contemporary downtown office; making it a fun place to work.

  1. Prepping for Paint: This is the most important part of the paint job and takes the most time. If you cut corners in the preparation portion; it will be noticed in the final presentation of the product. Money will be wasted because the paint won’t adhere and last like it should causing you to have to spend the time or pay someone to do it correctly.

Do your sheetrock repairs in the interior of the home to cover cracks and holes. On the exterior, be sure to properly repair any rotted wood (wood rot) on the exterior. Check for water damage on ceilings or on wall and repair the problem and cover the stain. Scrape any loose paint and residual debris embedded in the paint from the last paint job. Fill nail holes with wood filler on trim and fill small holes with spackle on walls. After it dries be sure to sand smooth and remove the dust. Caulk all gaps with a quality painters caulk.

A primer will be needed on new sheetrock, on any repairs and on bare wood or metal so your paint will be able to adhere properly. Dark paint colors might need a primer over them if you are going to paint it a lighter color. Water stains on the ceiling might need an oil-based primer to cover and to seal the stain so it doesn’t bleed through again.

The surface to be painted must be clean, dry and dull. On the exterior of the home, use a brush or carefully use a power washer to remove the chalk, dirt and mold. Use a detergent where needed or even TSP (trisodium phosphate) to remove grease and grime. Sand any surfaces that has a shine to it so the paint can adhere. The painting surface must also be dry. This is especially important, if you power washed the exterior. If washed improperly, any bare wood will soak up the moisture. The wood must be completely dry before painting.

Taping off brick and windows

Once the surfaces are ready to be painted; be sure to protect everything that you don’t want paint on. Use tarps to cover the flooring and plastic to cover landscapes, cabinets and furniture. Use a low adhesive painters tape to protect trim from splatter or if you need to create a sharp paint line. Use caution when removing the tape. Remove the tape before it dries otherwise you might need to use a knife to cut a line.

Scraping loose paint and caulking cracks in the fascia trim.

  1. Pick a Paint: Latex paint is usually the go-to paint, because of its easy water cleanup. Choose a good quality. Expect to pay $30 a gallon for interior wall paint and up to $70 for enamel trim paints and exterior paints. Remember, you get what you pay for. Skimping on good quality materials will actually cost you more paint to cover your project properly, more time to install the paint because of the extra coats and the final product won’t be as nice or last as long as it should. One coat can usually cover if the paint is a similar color. Generally, two coats will need to be put on but if painting a light color over a dark color; it might take three or the need to prime first.

Stunning blue paint going on a formal dining room wall

Flat paint hides wall imperfections and gives the ability to touch up dings but is not washable. A light sheen like an egg shell has a light shine on the paint which makes it more durable and gives the ability to wash it. Semi-gloss paints are usually for trim and cabinets. This is a durable paint that has a brighter shine on the finish.

Bold and beautiful color choice in this formal dining room

Watch the weather when you paint. Avoid painting on days with high humidity. The ideal temperature to paint is between 50-85 degrees. The air temperature could be ideal, but also watch the temperature of what you are painting. Walls in direct summer sunlight or walls that was exposed to cold temperatures all night might not allow the paint to adhere properly. Be sure to allow for proper dry times before applying the next coat for best results.

Generally, when you paint; you start at the top and work your way down. Paint the ceiling first. Walls second. Trim third. Cabinets and doors last. If you have the ability to spray the paint. The ceiling can be painted first and then spray the trim, cabinets and doors. Give enough time for drying and then roll the walls.

Finishing painting the trim

  1. Choose Who’s Going to Paint: Painting is an easy project for most homeowners. Just decide if you have the skill set and the time to tackle this project. Money can be saved by doing it yourself unless it hinders with your ability to create money for yourself. Sometimes it is actually cheaper and easier to just hire a professional to paint your home. Hiring someone can help you get it done quicker and hopefully, better than you could do by yourself, plus they can help you in choosing the right color and paint for the project.

There is a low barrier to entry in the painting business since there are only a few tools that you need. Be cautious of hiring an inexperienced handyman for your painting project. Only hire local licensed and insured contractors so you get the best value for your money.

Wood rot repair and exterior painting were done on this Health Care Center

Hopefully, Painting 101 was helpful for you to make wise decisions on your paint and color selections. Also, having the proper prep work and having the right person painting will help in creating the final product that you are after. If these points are carefully considered before painting your home or office; your final product will look great and last like it should so you get the best value for your money.

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Tranquil colors were chosen for this office space

Dream Home Enterprises has been serving the Kansas City area since 2003. We are a licensed General Contractor with a passion for building, remodeling, renovating, repairing, and maintaining residential and commercial properties.

DHE is known as a construction expert that uses in-house trained employees and proven service providers who want to excel as a craftsman, so you get a professional result. We can work with your design team and construct your remodel accordingly or we can design a unique space for you; then professionally build it.

We provide a full-service DRAMA FREE REMODELING PACKAGE from Design to Completion. This frees you up so you can sit back and enjoy time with your family.

WWW.DHEPAINTING.COM

816-779-9999

By Brian Hill

 

 

#paint #painting #commercial #office #home #residential #contractor #interiordesigner #designer #color #sherwinwilliams #benjaminmoore #interior #exterior #remodel #remodeling #weather #flat #gloss #brick #accent #lawnandhome

 

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5 Things to Consider Before Remodeling your Bathroom

 

claw tub angle best

 

48″ Cast Iron clawfoot tub with chrome feet, faucet and hand-held shower head. Bead board half way up the wall and gray 12″x 24″ceramic tile flooring

 

With every remodel there are many things to consider before you invest your hard-earned money and with a bathroom remodel is no different. You will spend hours considering color samples, tile choices and accessory options and many years living with the decisions that you made. This article was created to help you in your planning process. Listed below are five important things to consider when remodeling your bathroom, so it will be safe, practical and beautiful and provide you with many years of enjoyment.

15 - 5

Antique dresser repurposed into a bathroom vanity with a high arc chrome Moen faucet

1. Lighting: Functional and complimentary lighting is a must for any bathroom remodel. There is an actual art to casting light so it washes evenly across the hair and face without having any shadows. Sconces on each side of the mirror can help remove those gruesome shadows on your face that downlights alone can create. Generally, a “white” bulb color with a total wattage output of 75-150 watts works well; depending on the size of vanity. Do not forget lighting around the toilet. Lights situated at a guy’s backside might cast a shadow as he stands there which could increase the need to clean the bathroom more. Lighting around the shower and bathtub is a must to help avoid slip and falls. Put the lights on different switches or maybe even consider dimmable switches so you can set the mood in the bathroom or so it can be less harsh on your eyes to enter in the middle of the night.

 

2. Safety: This one ties in with #1. Good lighting is needed to have a safe bathroom, but safety goes well beyond lighting alone. Nearly two thirds of emergency room visits are caused from bathroom accidents. To help avoid accidents, slip resistant flooring is a must in any location that has any chance of moisture (bathrooms, showers, mudrooms, laundry…). Run your hand across the floor samples to see if you can feel any texture to help with traction. If the tile is smooth in such the case with marble; avoid using it on the floors unless you like to live dangerously. Fasten grab bars around toilets and in showers for those who need extra stability. Use low entry tubs and zero entry showers where needed. Make sure lighting and light switches are set to code so there is no chance of electrocution. Also, an ample amount of strategically placed outlets for your electric razors and hair dryers are a must. Make sure they are GFI outlets because of all the moisture and high risk of shock.

 

Moen ADA close up

Onyx shower wall with a brushed nickel Moen Eva faucet with hand-held shower head, grab bar and pressure balancing posi-temp valve to help against sudden temperature changes such as when one flushes the toilet while you are in the shower.

3. Function: What are you goals with this bathroom remodel? Are you looking to sell in the near future? Are you looking to “Age in Place” in your current home? If you plan on selling soon; be sure to use neutral colors and install nice quality items but don’t splurge on non-essentials that you cannot recoup in the sale of your home. If you plan on living at your current address a while, consider what needs that you have in that bathroom. Do you need storage space or a larger vanity work top? Do you need a hydrotherapy massage bathtub or do you even use a tub? Many homeowners are removing the big builder style jacuzzi tub and replacing it with a large walk in shower with multiple shower heads. Also, many are installing larger vanities with dual sinks and turning the current small shower into a storage closet. If you are looking to ‘Age in Place’ in your current home consider designing your bathroom with all the ADA features that you might unfortunately need down the road. Things such as grab bars, taller toilets, widened doorways and zero entry showers with built in seats and hand-held shower heads.

20160919_131303-compressed

A builders grade Jacuzzi tub was removed and replaced with an onyx shower base with subway tile and a mosaic inset shower niche and a heavy glass door

4. Exhaust fan: Improve the air quality in your bathroom by installing a ceiling exhaust fan. An exhaust fan can remove the smelly air and help freshen it up; leaving you less embarrassed with the surprise that you just left in there. Running an exhaust fan helps circulate air in the room which helps remove the moisture. This helps so mold doesn’t begin to grow and it even helps so the mirror doesn’t fog up. Make sure the fan has a duct that is ran to the outside and not just to your attic so the moisture is out of the home. Install the fan on its own switch so you can control when you want it on. There are many ceiling exhaust fans to choose from. In a small bathroom just outside your entertaining area; you might want to choose a noisy fan to help drain out unwanted noises. Many may want a quiet fan because that continual humming noise can be annoying. There are many options for bathroom exhaust fans including night lights, heaters and fan light combos.

 

5. Faucets: Homeowners show up at a big box store to see many options of faucets to choose from. There are good named brands out there priced competitively. A similar style and name brand could be priced drastically different from a big box store compared to a plumbing supply shop. If you are truly looking for the best deal make sure that you are comparing apples to apples; if it is the same model # or SKU #; it is the same product and of course, choose the cheaper place. If you look at price alone, you are not necessarily getting a better deal buying a cheaper one at a big box store because the quality is sometimes lesser than similar models around town. Though it is a dependable name brand; the cheaper options might contain plastic drain assemblies instead of metal, handle cartridges that are of lesser quality and the fixture bases are made of plastic with the finish over it instead of a sturdy metal fixture base for the finish to adhere too. As long as it is a major brand; the cheaper options will work, but the longevity won’t be there and the finishes are usually not as pretty after a little bit of use. Just decide what your goals are for this bathroom remodel.  Look at what features each faucet has because some faucets have the supply lines and the necessary connectors while others do not. This alone can make a huge difference in price. In conclusion, choose your goals for this bathroom remodel, but always select a major brand faucet and if you are truly looking for the best deal make sure that you are comparing apples to apples.

onyx wave sink

Onyx wave sink and mosaic tile back splash with a good quality brushed nickel Moen Brantford faucet which was found at a local plumbing supply shop

Hopefully, you will consider these five important tips when remodeling your bathroom, so your remodel will be safe, practical and beautiful and provide you with many years of enjoyment. Now that you have these ideas of what to think about; you can now begin moving forward to do your remodel. If you are considering having this difficult work done do not choose a handyman. Only hire locally licensed and insured contractors for your bathroom remodel.

 

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Dream Home Enterprises has been serving the Kansas City area since 2003. We are a licensed General Contractor and Master Plumber with a passion for building, remodeling, renovating, repairing, and maintaining residential properties.

 

DHE is known as a construction expert that uses in-house trained employees and proven service providers who want to excel as a craftsman, so you get a professional result. We can work with your design team and construct your remodel accordingly or we can design a unique space for you; then professionally build it.

 

We provide a full-service DRAMA FREE REMODELING PACKAGE from Design to Completion. This frees you up so you can sit back and enjoy time with your family.

 

WWW.DHEBATHROOMS.COM

816-779-9999

Dream Home Logo (original)

By Brian Hill

 

Five important things to consider before remodeling your bathroom. You spend a lot of time in your bathroom, why not make it safe, practical and beautiful? #bathroom #remodel #design #planning #countertop #sink #bathtub #lawnandhome #plumbing #masterplumber #generalcontractor #carpenter #painter #mold #flooring #lighting

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10 Reasons Why You Need New Windows

Grand Estate Windows #windows

Grand Estates Windows

 

10 reasons why you need new windows

Older windows naturally break down over time causing air leaks, safety worries and aesthetic concerns. Most every home has at least window that doesn’t operate correctly or even open at all. With the many types and styles of windows to choose from and pricing to fit any budget you probably don’t need any motives to get new windows installed, but just in case; here are ten reasons why you need new windows.

 

  1. Security

With crime rates on the rise, it only makes sense to do your due diligence to make it more difficult for thieves to enter your home. Many thieves are bold enough to just kick down the front door or break glass but many like to not draw attention to themselves and enter through ground level windows. Many older windows are missing the locks or they do not work properly making it easy to cut a screen and simply lift the window and enter your home. New windows have attractive corrosive resistant locks that simply operate with a turn of a lever. Having windows that securely lock will help you sleep at night.

 

  1. Energy efficiency

For energy-conscious homeowners who want to keep their heating and cooling bills at a minimum; new windows are a must. New windows will not only save you money monthly on the utility bills but there will be great savings in the long run with the reduced load on you HVAC system. Those old single pane windows cannot compare in efficiency to the new double pane windows that are filled with insulating argon gas.

Removing inefficient windows and replacing them with vinyl framed with insulated glass

Removing inefficient windows and replacing them with vinyl framed windows with insulated glass

  1. Safety

Many older homes have large windows that are low to the floor with ordinary glass that could be a potential safety hazard. Building codes have changed through out the years adding the absolute need for safety/tempered glass in low installed windows, large windows, doors, or windows near doors. Other concerns found in older windows is that older windows are hard to open or won’t open at all causing a safety concern if there was ever a fire and your loved one needed to escape through the window.

 

  1. Reduced Fading

Old windows (and patio doors) that especially face the west side of the house are prone to allow extensive amounts of ultraviolet (UV) rays into the home causing premature fading of curtains, carpet and furniture. New windows with Low-E coated glass, double panes or factory window films will help reduce the UV rays that enter your home that causes premature fading of your valuables.

 

  1. Added Value

Many home and financial advisors say that you can recoup at minimum 60% of your money when you install new windows in your home. Just think of two similar homes in a neighborhood for sale; the one with new windows could demand a higher selling price and/or sell quicker than the other since it has more to offer. New windows can add beauty, security and value to your home.

 

  1. Interior Comfort

Does your home face a noisy street? New windows can reduce noise pollution while keeping your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. Having energy efficient windows helps create a constant temperature in the home eliminating those hot and cold flashes in the home. New windows also can give you increased daylight and clearer views making the interior of the home look and feel more beautiful.

 

  1. Curb Appeal

We all have seen an older beautiful home with inferior windows that actually took away from the homes loveliness.  Outdated window designs, missing screens and peeling paint can detract from the home’s overall appearance. Though windows are not usually the main point of attraction; they can significantly enhance the overall beauty of the home.

Add curb appeal with new windows

Add curb appeal with new windows

  1. Easy Maintenance

Old windows are constantly needing new coats of paint to keep them from rotting. Upgrading to maintenance free products such as vinyl will eliminate costly repair down the road plus save you time. New windows have corrosive resistant hardware and tilt in functionality for easy cleaning.

 

  1. Reduce Moisture Around the Home

Moisture is the number one enemy to homes. Older windows can get condensation on the window panes which will drip down on the trim or behind the wall causing rot and even mold. Wood rot and mold are two serious problems that homes can easily get when moisture enters the home; new windows can reduce the moisture around the home.

 

  1. Personal Enjoyment

Your own personal enjoyment is the greatest reason to get new windows for your home. You spend a lot of time in your home, why not make it efficient, safe, and beautiful? All of these benefits are yours when you choose to install new windows in your home.

 

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Let’s say that this article persuaded you to entertain the notion to install new windows in your home. Installing new windows for your entire house is not cheap but they are very affordable when the full picture is considered of the life time value of them. There are a lot of things to consider when purchasing new windows.

 

What Brand?

Decide what your goals are or your reasoning in purchasing new windows. You might want to install cheaper windows in if you know you are going to sell your home soon. If you plan on living at your home for a while or you want to demand a higher asking price for your home; spend the money and do it right by buying the more expensive windows.

There are a lot of window brands out there. We have access to most every brand out there, but the top three window brands we use are Anderson, Jeld Wen and Grand Estates. With in these three there are styles and options for every budget.

Anderson vinyl clad casement windows

Anderson vinyl clad casement windows

 

What Product?

Wood products are less likely to heat up or transfer cold into a home but they are far from maintenance free. There is a potential for future rot especially if they are not properly taken care of. Wood windows are beautiful, but they take effort to keep them that way.

Vinyl products have the feeling of being cheap because of all of the inferior products out there. There are many great vinyl window products out there to choose from. A good quality vinyl window has tight construction and insulated glass that makes a great product that will last for years.

A wood-clad offers the best of both worlds with the low maintenance exterior (usually vinyl or aluminum) and the insulating value and beauty of wood.

Quaker aluminum clad double hung windows

Quaker aluminum clad double hung windows

 

What Style?

There are many styles to choose from. There is the crank out casement, geometric, radius, fixed, bay, bow, slider, garden, gliding, awning and the typical single and double hung windows that most homes have. Windows can be swapped out with similar styles like you already have or new styles can be added to totally transform your home.

Installing triple window unit with tempered glass and crank out casments

Installing triple window unit with tempered glass and crank out casements

 

What Color?

White is the typical color that people choose but did you know that there are multiple colors to choose from. The exterior can be one color and the interior can be another. The interior can be a vinyl with a wood grain color or it could be stain grade wood awaiting any color that you want so it can match the rest of your home.

Anderson Dark Bronze wood-clad casement window

Anderson Dark Bronze wood-clad casement window

 

What Type of Grid Style?

Some like the large open panes of a window without any obstructions while some like the look of grids. These grids can be flat or sculpted and be placed in between the two panes of glass or allowed to fasten on the outside of the glass. Here are some grid styles that you might have heard of: cape cod, prairie, perimeter, valance, sunburst, craftsman, cottage farmhouse, diamond, tudor, Victorian, neo-Victorian, contemporary and the familiar colonial style.

Colonial Grids in these double hung windows

Colonial Grids in these double hung windows

 

What Glass?

There will be some windows that by code will need to have safety/tempered glass but there are some other options to consider such as the insulated Argon gas filled windows that will help reduce heat loss while saving you money on utility bills. There are tinted and Low-Emissivity (Low-E) glass that allows light to enter while reflecting the infrared heat and UV rays. In bathrooms, a frosted glass might be desired for privacy purposes while still allowing natural light in.

Grand Estate triple casement unit with tempered and low-e glass

Grand Estate triple casement unit with tempered and low-e glass

 

What Contractor?

Always choose a locally licensed and insured contractor for your window replacement and not a handyman.

**

Dream Home Enterprises has been serving the Kansas City area since 2003. We are a licensed General Contractor with a passion for building, remodeling, renovating, repairing, and maintaining residential properties.

DHE is known as a construction expert that uses in-house trained employees and proven service providers who want to excel as a craftsman, so you get a professional result. We can work with your design team and construct your remodel accordingly or we can design a unique space for you; then professionally build it.

We provide a full-service DRAMA FREE REMODELING PACKAGE from Design to Completion. This frees you up so you can sit back and enjoy time with your family.

Dream Home Logo (original)

 

WWW.DHEWINDOWS.COM

816-779-9999

By Brian Hill

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Upgrade the Light Fixtures in Your Home

 

A crystal chandelier with LED bulbs gives an elegant look in your Master Bedroom

A crystal chandelier with LED bulbs gives an elegant look in your Master Bedroom

An inexpensive way to change a room is to have new light fixtures installed. Though lights are not necessarily the main attraction of a room; an outdated light fixture can actually take away from the look or mood that you are trying to create.

In one afternoon your room could be transformed by changing out mismatched and dated fixtures. There are nice looking options available at the box stores that are priced fairly that won’t break the bank or you can spend some serious money purchasing named brands, actual crystal chandeliers or timeless antique light fixtures depending on your style of house and decorating likes.

Antique Crystal chandelier on a dimable switch

Antique Crystal chandelier on a dimmable switch

Your current light fixture might be fine but the lack of illumines that it puts out in the room can make it feel gloomy and in some areas like a bathroom can make it dangerous. Take a look at your lighting in each room to see if there are shadows, hot spots or dark spots in the room. Does your chandelier shine upwards when it would be better suited to shine downward over a table?  Is your current lighting on your backside when facing a kitchen counter or entering a shower? Is the room at times to bright? Accessing your current lighting will help you in purchasing new light fixtures.

You’ve now found the perfect light fixture now what? It’s now time to decide what type of bulbs.

 

Antique brass chandelier with blue glass globe retrieved from a hundred year old home

Antique brass chandelier with blue glass globe retrieved from a hundred year old home

Compact fluorescent bulbs have been a nice advantage to especially older homes because higher wattage bulbs can be used to brighten the room without the concern of overloading the old wiring.  An average 60-watt bulb only takes 13 watts to run. Fluorescent bulbs consume less energy than the old incandescent bulbs and even last 8-10 times longer which is an advantage to those inconvenient placed light fixtures in the tall Family Room.

4' Florescent light fixtures were installed in this garage to brighten it up

4′ Florescent light fixtures were installed in this garage to brighten it up

Many homeowners are opting for new LED (light-emitting diode) lights though they are usually more expensive. LED lights consume less energy, last longer than fluorescent (10-13 times longer), and burn much cooler than incandescent bulbs which is especially helpful in enclosed light fixtures and in tiny rooms.  Most LED lights are dimmable with great color quality and light output.

LED under counter lighting helps eliminate shadows on your counter top workspace

LED under counter lighting helps eliminate shadows on your counter top work space

Something else to consider when changing light fixtures; don’t forget about dimmer switches. They are a nice addition to a room if you are wanting to create different moods such as in the dining room. Most of the time you might want bright lights in there, but on occasion it would be nice to be able to dim them down to create a nice intimate dining experience. Dimmer switches give you this option.

Dimmer switches can help you create the mood that you want in your room

Dimmer switches can help you create the mood that you want in your room

Changing light fixtures are a fairly simple process that most homeowners take on themselves. If you choose to do it yourself be sure to:

  • Turn off the breaker to the light
  • Never stand on the top two rungs of a step ladder
  • Don’t strip the wires more than needed so there are no bare wires beyond the wire nuts
  • Use appropriate wire nuts and tighten properly
  • Tape wire nuts clockwise if using an older metal box
  • Ground the new light fixture to the box
  • Make sure the light fixture base is fastened securely and correctly to the box
  • Extra support might be needed if you are adding a heavier light fixture
  • Install the bulbs
  • Install the trim and cover if applicable
  • Turn the power on and enjoy

These tips are for the typical simple light fixture. Many are not simple so if you don’t like surprises or feel that this is beyond your comfort zone; give us a call and we will take care of it for you.

Dream Home Enterprises

816-779-9999

WWW.DHEREMODELING.COM

 

 

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It’s Time To Do A Fall Clean Up

leaves

 

With it being the end of the season; it is the perfect time to do a fall clean up so your property will look manicured doing the winter months. Plus, excessive leaves on your grass can smother your grass leaving bald spots in the spring and leaves piled behind bushes and in window wells can cause homes for unwanted pests. This task can be done with a simple leaf rake and some 30 gallon lawn and refuse bags that are found at any big box store. If you have a lot of leaves or a big lawn; a hand held blower would be a great investment to speed up the clean up process.

Here is our check list for a fall clean up

  • Clean out gutters
  • Disconnect garden hoses
  • Trim bushes
  • After the first frost; you can heavy prune any bushes that have gotten out of control
  • Cut back perennial flowers (Russian sage, cat mint, cone flowers,..) to half their size. (This will leave enough stems to catch leaves later on to help insulate them during the winter; then in the spring; they can be cut down all the way if needed)
  • Pull annuals
  • Pull weeds
  • Pick up sticks and large debris out of the lawn and landscape
  • Start the furthest away so you are not tracking across already cleaned areas. Use the wind and gravity (raking down hill) to your advantage
  • Rake out leaves and debris from landscape. Blow the little debris out. Be careful to not rake or blow mulch out of beds
  • Be sure to blow leaves out of bushes and get them from under bushes. Blow at different angles and shake bush if needed
  • After the landscape is completed; be sure to pick the excess mulch out of the grass
  • Remove suckers from trees
  • Blow off decks, porches, and patios
  • Blow along curb, fences, and sidewalks to get the leaves out of the cracks and crevices
  • Blow or rake the settled leaves matted in the grass
  • Blow or rake leaves into wind rows or piles. Load leaves on tarp to haul off or fill lawn and refuse bags
  • By the time that you are done: all fruit, nuts, sticks, leaves, grass clippings, bush trimmings and debris should be removed from landscapes, lawn, curbs, walkways, drive ways, porches, window wells and decks
  • Mow the lawn and use your bagger to catch any stray leaves and excess lawn clippings
  • Before a final blow; this is a good time to install your fall fertilizer
  • Final blow
  • Haul off debris or set bags at the road for pickup
  • Winterize your lawn equipment for the winter
  • Make some hot chocolate and sit back and enjoy your yard
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