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 Though lights are not necessarily the main attraction of a room; an outdated light fixture can actually take away from the look or mood that you are trying to create.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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A Recipe for Wood Rot

This sedum plant was installed too close to the garage. As it grew; it would touch the siding which trapped moisture and caused wood rot.

When you buy a plant at your favorite nursery; notice the tag on it that tells you how tall and wide that plant will get.

Always read the nursery plant tag so you know the mature size of the plant and its sun and water needs.

Always read the nursery plant tag so you know the mature size of the plant and its sun and water needs.

Pay close attention to their planting recommendations so you don’t have an expensive removal in the future, continual trimming and pruning maintenance fees and/or opportunities for damage to your home.

This sedum plant was installed too close to the garage. As it grew; it would touch the siding which trapped moisture and caused wood rot.

This sedum plant was installed too close to the garage. As it grew; it would touch the siding which trapped moisture and caused wood rot.

The picture above is a Stonecrop Sedum plant that was probably planted in the spring time. I say this because in the spring; the plant is only a few inches tall with a lot of buds. Most would not expect something that small get to so large in one year. This plant is around 24″ tall and with a near width. The plant grows upright until the weight causes it to spread out. In this case, it could only lay against the siding of this garage. This seems innocent enough, but after each rain, morning dew or if the plant got manually watered; the wet plant would lay against the siding trapping moisture and not allowing the sun to dry the siding out.

That is the recipe for wood rot as you can see!

If you have this issue with plants being installed too close to the house; it would be to your advantage to remove them, transplant them elsewhere, or continually keep them trimmed back away from your house, so you do not get wood rot on your siding or trim.

Wood rot on siding from bushes being installed to close

Fall is the best time to install plants and bushes around your property. Be sure to check the tags or ask your nursery associate about what plants are best for your situation. Plants and bushes around your home can be aesthetically pleasing and add value to your home if installed properly.

Beautiful yellow Stella D'Ora lillies

Beautiful yellow Stella D’Ora lilies

Please remember that plants and bushes that are installed improperly can be a recipe for wood rot. Improperly installed plants and bushes can have expensive removals in the future, continual pruning and trimming maintenance fees and/or potential opportunities for damage to your home because of wood rot.

Dream Home Enterprises

www.DHEwoodrot.com

816-779-9999

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So You Think That You Have Wood Rot?

Rotted Siding, window and trim.

Rotted Siding, window and trim.

There are many names for this problem. Some call it wood rot or dry rot. Others call it pest damage or water damage. Whatever you want to call it, and whatever the source of the problem; Wood Rot is a SERIOUS PROBLEM to have.

Typically, Wood Rot is only thought as a minor cosmetic issue. It might be right now but if it is left unaddressed, it will turn into a serious and dangerous problem as the integrity of the structure is compromised.

Rotted Structural Pillar

Rotted Structural Pillar

 

Wood Rot is usually caused by a water leak. The water leak must be found and fixed and not just cosmetically covered up. If the leak is not fixed, it will continue to cause deterioration to your home and allow MOLD to grow. Mold and fungus (Dry Rot) then can bring many health problems to your family, including allergic reactions, asthma episodes, irritated eyes, nose, and throat and other breathing problems. Water damage invites pests such as carpenter ants and termites. Termites are more aggressive and will enter a structure even if it doesn’t have moist wood. Either way, once the pests are infiltrated and left to themselves; they destroy the wood and cause  Weakening of the Structure.

Rotted plywood sheathing under window due to leak

Rotted plywood sheathing under window due to leak

Other pest damage that we have seen is caused by squirrels. If you see chew marks on trim or siding; chances are it is caused by a squirrel. They can even chew holes through the siding and trim so they can enter the soffits and/or your attic causing other issues. If these holes are not addressed properly; they can create homes for birds, bats and wasps and even catch water directing it inside the wall or attic causing potential structure and mold issues.

Window leak caused damage to the window, walls and sub-flooring

Window leak caused damage to the window, walls and sub-flooring

DHE is a local trusted Wood Rot and Construction Expert for residential and commercial properties. Let our experienced team correctly fix your Wood Rot problem the first time? We’ll remove the infected and damaged wood and address any mold issues that we find. If we find any structural issues, we’ll rebuild it to make it safe and structurally sound. Once your Wood Rot problem is fixed; we can repair any sheetrock damage and paint to match or repaint your entire house. The result is a full-service DRAMA FREE PACKAGE from design to completion.

Replace Rotted and Rusted Entry doors with a premium fiberglass door

Replace Rotted and Rusted Entry doors with a premium fiberglass door

Wood Rot and Water Damage Can Be Found In:


Structural Wall Studs
Load Bearing Headers
Floor, Ceiling, and Rim Joists
Sill Plates
Sheetrock
Siding
Windows
Doors
Trim
Brickmold
Chimneys
Soffits
Fascia
Sheathing
Decks/Porches
Handrails
Columns/Pillars
Roofs
Flooring and More…

Popcorn texturing a repaired water damage on the ceiling.

Popcorn texturing a repaired water damage on the ceiling.

Don’t trust your Wood Rot Repairs to a “Handyman.”

Hire only a local licensed Contractor so you will get a professional finished product without the drama.

Repaired the woodr rot damage and then Installed Hardie lap siding and Quaker Windows

Repaired the wood rot damage and then Installed Hardie lap siding and Quaker Windows

The complicated part of a Wood Rot Repair is the fact that most of the time it takes many skills sets to complete the job. Carpentry skills are needed to repair the damaged areas, to install new windows and to address any structural issues. Sheetrock repair might be needed due to cracks and leaks. Painters are needed to prepare the repaired areas and to paint to match. A roofer  might be needed to address the faulty roof flashing. This is where you need a Licensed General Contractor who knows the whole building process and can get the needed skilled craftsman in so you get a professional result.

Design to completion with one company.

Dream Home Enterprises

www.DHEwoodrot.com

816-779-9999

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Fall is here

leaves

 

The leaves are starting to fall and the nights are getting cooler. It is hard to believe that fall is here and winter is near. Take advantage of this weather before winter arrives to have your gutters free of debris, so there is not an opportunity for ice dams to build up causing leaks, mold, and/or sheetrock damage in your home. Trim back trees and bushes that are touching your house to avoid shingle and siding damage. Wet leaves on bushes that touch the house is one of the biggest causes of wood rot on your home.  Remove the leaves around your house so unwanted pests do not make a home in them. Also do not leave excessive amounts of leaves in your lawn, because it could suffocate your grass, plus it is not very aesthetically pleasing.

With the family coming for the holidays in a few months having extra living space would be nice. It is still early enough to remodel your outdated bathroom or kitchen before the holidays so it will be safe,  practical and relaxing. There are hundreds of square feet in your basement that can be changed into living space at a fraction of the price of a room addition. A lower cost enhancement that you can do in your home is to update your flooring and freshen up the paint on the walls.

Enjoy the cooler fall weather!

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