Outdoor Spring Cleaning
Spring is here, and it’s time to tidy up! Read on for our handy checklist of outdoor spring cleaning ideas.
Windows and Screens
It’s best to clean windows when the sun isn’t out to prevent the cleaner from drying too fast and causing streaks. Be careful on that ladder! In addition, it won’t matter how clean your windows are if your screens are dusty and damaged. Remove your screens and vacuum with an attachment. If they are damaged, screens are fairly inexpensive to replace.
It’s amazing how quickly weeds can pop up in the spring – get a head start as soon as they show up. In addition, clear out any dead foliage and prune your shrubs and trees – this will make your garden area more appealing and encourage new growth. After weeding and clearing out old plants, lay down a new layer of mulch and take note of any plants that need to be replaced. Be sure to clean out and re-plant any pots or baskets as well!
Sweep All the Things
It’s not just your floor that needs sweeping! Take a broom to the ceilings and walls of your porches and eaves to clear out dust and cobwebs. Sweep out your garage from all your winter projects and then sweep the driveway and cracks. Replace any caulking in the driveway that may have been damaged over the winter.
Break Out the Furniture
Patio furniture can take a hit during the winter. Wipe down all furniture with a damp cloth and beat the dust out of cushions. Clean or replace rugs and umbrellas if necessary.
Get Ready to Grill
Wipe down the outside of your grill and give the inside a good scrubbing with a steel brush before first use. It’s not uncommon for creatures to take refuge in your grill during the winter, so take care when opening the lid the first time.
A New Life for Doors
Doors are one of those things we always touch but rarely clean. Give your exterior doors a good washing and touch up paint where necessary. For a fun project, repaint your front door a fun color like red or yellow!
There’s nothing like a hose to clean the exterior of your house! Especially with brick or vinyl siding, using a spray attachment on your hose to wash down the walls can instantly increase curb appeal. Now is a good time to spot-check your roof as well – if gutters or shingles are damaged, it’s time to replace.
Check your light fixtures – they can accumulate dust and bugs. Replace bulbs if necessary.
Maintain the Fence
Winter can be hard on fences and gates – walk the perimeter of your property and check for areas that require repair. A new coat of stain or paint certainly helps bring life to your property as well.
A New Lawn
Whether you have a lawn in place or you’re thinking of installing one, green grass in your yard adds wonderful curb appeal. Lay fertilizer down before a spring rain to bring new life to your lawn and replace any dead areas with sod.
What other outdoor spring cleaning do you accomplish each year? Tell us in the comments!
It’s that time of year where the sun stays out longer and the weather starts to warm. We open our windows and shake out the lingering cobwebs from winter. There are the usual things that we think to clean like floors, floorboards, and vents, but what else? Here are the top 5 things to add to your cleaning list this year!
Even though you look through your windows every day, they’re easy to miss when cleaning up. The best day to clean your windows is a cloudy one – cleaning on a sunny day can leave streaks when the cleaner evaporates too quickly. Start by dusting your windows so that you’re not just smearing dust around. Next, vacuum your screens using an attachment – there’s nothing worse than cleaning all of your windows only to realize your screens are dirty! Finally, use your cleaner of choice. Pre-moistened wipes, a homemade solution with a microfiber cloth, or a sponge all work well, followed closely by a pass with a squeegee. You’ll love your new clean view!
We often don’t think about cleaning our lighting, but you’d be amazed at how much dust gathers in those fixtures! Use a vacuum attachment to clean lamp shades and wipe down the lamp base with a microfiber cloth. Even the light bulb itself may be dusty if you have light bulbs that last a long time. Take a duster to your ceiling fans, chandeliers, and standing lamps as well. Finally, don’t forget to clean your light switches! If you think about it, your switches are touched more often than most anything in your house.
From small kitchen appliances to your washing machine, your appliances need a good cleaning every once in a while too. Have a coffee maker? Be sure to clean it inside and out. Does your mixer sit on the countertop? Time to give it a good dusting. For washers and dishwashers, you can find a packet of cleaner in your local store – give those machines a run with a cleaner to prevent mildew and stains. Other appliances, such as your hair dryer, electric toothbrush, and alarm clocks are often neglected in the cleaning process as well. Take a minute to put them through some sanitation.
You’d be surprised how dirty the front of your cabinets can be! Your choice of cleaner will depend on whether your cabinets are wood or painted, but it is definitely worth a thorough wipe down of your kitchen and bathroom cabinets, especially the ones located below sinks. Feeling motivated? Time to wipe down the shelves inside of your cabinets as well, and maybe vacuum out the utensil drawer.
Your cleaning tools need cleaning too! You’re certainly not sanitizing your home if the mop you’re using is dirty as well. Take a moment to clean the parts of your vacuum, run your mop heads through the washing machine, and replace any sponges or brushes that are worse for wear. Check the dates on your cleaning products as well, and spot test any new cleaning products to ensure that you won’t stain your carpet, flooring, or upholstery.
Feel free to reach out to Bright Star Handyman Service for any larger projects that may arise while you’re spring cleaning. We’re happy to help!
Things to Consider When Replacing Your Flooring
Especially if you just moved into a house, you may want to replace the flooring. Hardwood flooring can be scratched, carpeting dirty and worn, or laminate chipped and stained. When replacing the flooring in your home, it’s important to consider several things to ensure you’ve made the best choices. Let’s go through some of them now!
Have you ever been in a home that’s all carpet? It makes it hard to differentiate one room from the next and doesn’t lend any personality to the house. There are many flooring options to choose from, and they work well with each other. Choosing the best flooring for each room is key. How often does the room get used and what does it get used for? Kitchens, for instance, have a lot of foot traffic and there will likely be many food and drink spills – flooring like tile or laminate may be best. For hallways and stairs, an engineered hardwood can reduce the wear and tear.
Which flooring you choose depends quite a bit on the look and feel you want your home to have. Leaning towards comfortable and cozy? A combination of carpet and tile could do the trick. Looking for a more modern appeal? Mixing engineered wood with concrete flooring is futuristic and fun. These days, engineered wood, tile and carpet come in so many shapes, colors and sizes that the sky is truly the limit.
And of course, the price of your flooring matters too. Carpet and laminate are less expensive to purchase and install than other flooring, like hardwood or tile. That being said, both of these materials aren’t as durable so they may need to be replaced more often. Spending a bit more up front on materials like engineered wood may mean that they stay looking good and last for the lifetime of your home.
Finally, your comfort is key. If you spend a lot of time lounging in your living room, you may want to pick a plush carpet. If your living room is mostly for entertaining guests, an engineered hardwood might be best to withstand shoes and spills. Another example is your bedroom – do you use the bedroom mostly for sleeping, or do you have a desk in there? Again, your flooring type depends on your use of the room – choose wisely!
Need a hand choosing the best flooring? We can help! Give Bright Star Handyman Service a call today.
It’s finally springtime and aside from the usual ‘spring cleaning’, you might be looking for other home improvement ideas to keep yourself busy while the weather warms up enough to do the outside projects. Here are three ways to spice up your rooms this spring.
Add a Little Paint
You may be looking for something simple and affordable rather than a big expensive project, so know that a coat of fresh paint (chosen well) never hurt any aesthetic. Take to Pinterest to inspire you with a new color scheme to carry the fresh feel of spring throughout the rest of the year. Maybe you aren’t looking to repaint the entire house, but you know that big wall in the living room that you can never figure out what to do with? Turn it into an accent wall with a color that ‘pops’ or upcycled panels. Trellised rooms are exciting to the eye and can be a great creative project that will occupy some time.
Hang & Rearrange
Redecorating always feels good when you’re in the need for something fresh. If you aren’t emotionally attached to the artwork you have already, consider finding some new pieces to accent the room. A nice mirror or a creative family portrait montage brings a new energy into an otherwise stagnant space. There are thousands of DIY projects to incorporate some crafty art into your home during the season of fresh starts. Sometimes, even the rearranging of the furniture can give you the fresh new look you are craving! Plants can also bring a brand new life to your space.
Add Some Depth to the Walls
If you are feeling adventurous and motivated, wainscotting or paneling might be just the spring project to take on. Wainscoting is not only aesthetically pleasing, it also protects the lower portions of your walls from damage. Adding trim or molding to wainscoting creates an elegant, classy look to an otherwise boring wall. Some people are even taking to decorating their ceilings with different panel designs to add a little extra charm. However, this undertaking doesn’t have to be pricey. A suggestion is to apply a grid of 1x6 drywall panels to a drywalled surface, add a coat of paint to the grid, and then magically, the boards, stiles, and rails create a look like something out of a design magazine.
Whatever it is that calls to you, all three of these are easy enough and have millions of points of inspiration throughout the internet to help get you started on spicing up the rooms in your home before summer projects start. It is time to let go of the old and bring in the new! Reach out to Bright Star Handyman Service for all of your home renovation needs in Philadelphia and South Jersey!
Spring is in the air! The sun is out, flowers are popping up in your yard, and it’s starting to warm up during the day. The saying ‘spring cleaning’ exists for a reason – many of us see these signs of the seasons changing and are ready to shake off the doldrums of winter by cleaning house.
One big item on your to-do list should be ridding your home of any pests that may have moved in during the cold winter months. In partnership with our friends at Critter Control, here’s a list of some things you can do to make sure those pesky critters evacuate your home and fast.
Clean, Clean, Clean!
Often critters are seeking refuge in your home because there are so many delicious things for them to eat! Make sure your food is stored on high shelves in sealed containers. Have pets? Elevate their food off the floor so pests don’t have access. Regularly sweeping your kitchen and dining areas for crumbs and taking out your garbage at least once a week will help too. Make sure that your sinks and bathtubs have no standing water while not in use.
Seal the Entrances
Regularly check your home, especially doors and windows, for holes and other gaps that allow pests to get inside. If you find them, close them up! Make sure your doors have tight seals and install screens on all the windows. Check places you might not see without looking, such as cabinets and outlets. Home improvement stores are stocked with sealants and pastes especially designed for repairing any cracks and crevices.
Plant a Pest-Fighting Garden
Many common garden plants can deter pests naturally. Basil, lavender and catmint can help deter mosquitos. Garlic and sage prevent ticks from taking up shop. Planting some rosemary close to your home scares the moths away. And of course, if you are able to prevent these pests from coming near your home, you’ll also diminish the number of spiders taking up residence. Win win!
Call Critter Control
If certain household pests like mice, ants, or snakes have made a home in your home, it’s time to call in the experts. Invading nuisance wildlife can wreak havoc on residential properties and structures and if left unattended wildlife and pests can cause costly damage to your property. Check out the Critter Control website to find out more information about these critters, and then give them a call!
Doing some home remodeling, but not sure what to do with your walls? Here are some fun ideas for those blank walls in your home, and we didn’t even include wallpaper!
Armed with a little liquid starch and some lightweight cotton fabric in a fun print, you can turn a bland wall into a work of art. Want something a little less time-intensive? Simply hanging a series of table runners, a decorative shower curtain, or a knitted blanket on a dowel can make a huge statement.
There are hundreds of ideas on Pinterest of how to turn walls into repositories for your book collection and look decorative in the process. From wall-to-wall shelves to artsy bookcases to picture frames big enough to hold books, the sky is the limit!
This Japanese masking tape comes in hundreds of fun patterns and colors. Use the tape in vertical or horizontal lines to instantly change a room. This change is so easy and quick, you can update with new styles as often as you’d like!
If you have a large wall in a neutral color that you’d like to keep plain but still stand out, texture may be the answer. Specialty molded wall tiles can create a three-dimensional effect in ripples, waves, or patterns and are easy to install.
Some house elements that are commonly used as flooring have started showing up on walls and ceilings too! Cork tiles, hardwood boards, natural stone, and bamboo are just some of the options that can bring a bit of nature into your home and really accent a wall.
And of course, there’s the classic wall décor – paint! Paint an accent wall in a bright, fun color, paint stripes in a closet, or even paint a fun mural on one wall in your office. Another fun option is chalkboard paint, especially for kid’s rooms. Then they can draw on their walls all day, and you simply erase it!
If you’re looking for more ideas, reach out to Bright Star Handyman Service and we will be happy to help you achieve your home goals!
When it comes to home remodeling, sometimes DIY is not the answer. Be sure to call a handyman at a house renovation service near you if any of these scenarios pop up in your home.
Put up cabinets
You want your cabinets to stand out in your kitchen, but not because they weren’t put up correctly. Lining up and installing cabinets can be tricky business – letting a professional do it is well worth the cost.
Fix leaky plumbing
There’s no worse feeling than discovering a puddle under your pipes. Whether it’s a leak under your kitchen sink or (aak!) a running toilet, a handyman should be the first person you call for help.
Rewire light fixtures
Electricity is not to be messed with – it’s complicated and can be dangerous. Whether you’re installing a chandelier or simply notice an arc in your circuit, call in a professional.
Repair a furnace
Furnaces are complicated creatures and they tend to break at the most inconvenient times. A handyman in your neighborhood will be able to identify and resolve the problem, fast.
Painting the house
Sure, you could paint your own house – but have you thought about how long it might take? Your local house renovation service has the handyman and the equipment to make the job go faster and better.
Replacing a door
Replacing a bedroom door might be a DIY job, but entry doors - especially sliding doors and screen doors – really require a special touch. Same goes with changing locks. Better safe than sorry!
Installing a gate
Gates are both functional and aesthetic – it’s important that they match your landscaping, work well for years, and are built level so they do not scrape on the ground.
Changing out a spigot
Plumbing on the outside of the house is just as important as the inside and can be just as difficult to repair. Before you get frustrated, call in your handyman to fix your spigot in a minute.
Fixing a floor
Whether you’re repairing a patch of carpet, a cracked tile, or a damaged floorboard, your friendly neighborhood handyman will have the right tools to do the job.
Repair the stairs
Stairs not only involve finding the right materials, but they must be built to code and can include railings. Luckily, there are professionals who can help!
When choosing a handyman, it’s important to make sure that they have good references, the right qualifications, and they understand your wants and needs. At Bright Star Handyman, we’re here to help. Reach out to us today for more information!
As a new year comes around, it’s always fun to speculate on what trends - from clothes to food and especially home design - will be showing up on Pinterest and high-end magazines. While good taste never goes out of style, some interior design trends represent changes in how bigger issues such as the environment, technology and family time are perceived. This has never been truer than what can be expected in 2019.
Please continue reading for Acme Brick’s annual round-up of the hottest home design trends.
#1 Sustainability is a Megatrend
How To Pick the Perfect Home Color Scheme
Your home is not only a place of rest and relaxation, it is also the place where you express yourself, create, and practice hospitality. Colors have a lot of influence on emotions, psychologically, so your home should reflect the feelings you want to have yourself as well as your family and your guests. Choosing the perfect color scheme for your home can be simple with a few easy guidelines.
First, what kind of natural lighting does your home have? This will be dependent on which direction your home faces. North or east facing homes are cooler because there is little direct sunlight. Painting your walls and furnishings with cool colors are likely to make your home feel even chillier. On the other hand, if your home is south or west facing, it is likely that your home is warmer from more direct sunlight. Warm colors can make your home feel oppressive if it is already warmer than typical. For north/east facing homes, we recommend reds, yellows, beiges, or creamy colors. For south/west facing homes, try something in the realm of blues, greens, and grays. Whites are typically neutral, but we would recommend finding some additional colors within the warm/cool palette to supplement.
What type of environment do you want to create inside the home? Are you looking for a clean, modern feel or something more organic and welcoming? Depending on what you discovered with the last step, you can work with your personalized style and still stay true to warm or cool colors. For example, if you are more interested in an earthy vibe, say you have a lot of plants, but own a home that is naturally cooler, you could still decorate with warmer earth tones like lighter beiges and supplement with the greens of the plants themselves. Also consider that cooler colors are calming, as warmer colors are energizing and take note of which rooms you want to feel relaxed or stimulated in. Bedrooms and living rooms may be a better fit for a warmer environment. Whereas, bathrooms and kitchens may lean towards a cooler and brighter color to support a fresher, clean feeling.
Add Some Complements
Once you have chosen your dominant color, you can then do some research on what colors are complementary to it. “Highlight” colors are a great idea, if used in moderation. Say your living room is blue/gray, a well-placed gold piece of furniture or piece of art will draw the eye and lighten up the feel. Likewise, if your bedroom is more in a brown/beige palette, consider bringing in a light blue bedspread for a balanced aesthetic. If you struggle with conceptualizing what this means, check out this great article with 2019’s top color trends.
There are many ways to interpret your space, so be sure to tap into your own personal style. The home is the best place for self-expression and with a little help, can represent you as a whole. Whether you base your decision off of your favorite season, a choice piece of art or furniture, or from a Pinterest board, take it step by step and watch as your perfect environment creates itself. If you have any questions, reach out to Bright Star Handyman Service for professional help for your home renovation!
Being “green” is a new lifestyle, business, and cultural trend, and also directly impacts the money you spend on energy bills. Across the spectrum of sealing and insulating, energy efficient appliances, solar panels and LED lighting, there are many ways to implement small and large changes in your household that promote financial and carbon footprint savings.
Seal & Insulate
Your home’s heating and cooling system is among the most significant in saving on energy costs. The duct system is comprised of tubes that connect to central air conditioners and furnaces through your ceilings, walls, and floors. However, most of these systems are not fabricated properly which can cause hot and cool air to slowly escape from your home. This obviously results in more energy being consumed, because the system must work harder to regulate temperatures.
Attics and vented crawl spaces have a tendency to be poorly insulated, so sealing the ducts and insulating them can be an easy way to save money on heating and cooling utility bills, and increase the overall energy efficiency of your home. The quantity of insulation needed to cover your attic will depend on the size of your home, and the climate of where you live, but the average cost of additional insulation runs around $1,400. You can also close your radiators or vents in unoccupied rooms, potentially saving you up to 20 percent on heating costs.
Energy efficient appliances
Home appliances like refrigerators, stoves, dishwashers, and laundry machines make up about 13% of a household’s energy costs. These appliances are notorious for wasting energy, so think about updating your appliances this year to save money in the long run. Energy Star products, backed by the U.S. EPA and Department of Energy are a great place to start. For example, an Energy Star labeled refrigerator will save you between $30 and $70 a year compared to models that were produced 15 years ago.
Smart home products can also increase your home’s energy efficiency and can even be controlled from a smartphone or tablet. A programmable thermostat allows you to lower the temperature during times when no one is home or the family is sleeping. Users can set a specific temperature to different time periods in the weekdays and weekends.
Other products like the Nest Thermostat integrate smart internet technology that allows control from your smartphone. If you were on vacation and wanted to adjust the heating and cooling at custom times, you could do that all from your phone. You can save as much as 10 percent a year with these devices.
Light-emitting diode, or LED bulbs provide longer lasting light and are more energy efficient than old incandescent bulbs. Most families will spend about 5% of their energy budget in lighting costs and switching to energy-efficient lighting is one of the fastest ways to cut your bill. You can save about $45 each year simply by replacing your home's five most commonly used light fixtures or bulbs with LED lights.
LED bulbs are currently available in many products such as replacements for traditional incandescents, small track lights, and desk lamps. In addition to outdoor area lights, reflector bulbs used in recessed fixtures, and kitchen under-cabinet lighting. LEDs have immense possibility with their versatile abilities like motion sensors, wide array of colors, and dimmable functions.
LEDs have a higher cost than traditional lightbulbs, but they save money in the future. The technology operates with very little energy for a lengthy duration.
Have you ever wished your electricity bill was more predictable? Cheaper? Installing solar panels can protect you from rising energy prices by producing your very own clean electricity. Solar panels can guarantee steady electricity rates over twenty plus years, arguably the highest rate of long-term savings in any home remodel. The price behind solar power has decreased in recent years which means solar savings are higher than ever! Solar panels are certainly a long term investment but well worth the expense, and better for the environment.
Whether the changes you apply are small or large, transforming your household into an energy efficient haven is rewarding in many ways. Rewarding to your bank account, to Mother Nature, and to humanity overall. Contact Bright Star Handyman for energy efficient home remodels and transformation.
As we reflect back on 2018, we’re so grateful for everything this year brought and taught us! As we gear up for the year ahead, we’re expecting 2019 to bring even more big things!
If you’ve been waiting for the perfect time for a home renovation in Philadelphia or South Jersey, the time has come. This year, we want to help you with all of your home needs. If you’re not sure where to start, begin prioritizing where you spend most of your time. Does your small kitchen need more space? Does your bathroom only have enough space for one person at a time?
Here are 4 ways to update your home in 2019!
You don’t need to completely gut your family kitchen to get more space and use out of your cooking and storage space. There are few ways to completely change the look of your kitchen without a complete renovation:
Repaint the cabinets to freshen up their look and avoid a full cabinet installation
Change out your cabinet hardware like knobs and handles for new decor
Upgrade your kitchen appliances to new energy efficient appliances that might save you more money in monthly bills
Change out your countertops to create a brand new preparation space for family dinner
Older bathrooms are generally smaller than bathrooms built in newer homes. If you find that you need more space, there are plenty of ways to optimize what you already have:
Change out the bathroom sink to better fit the amount of space you have, if you need more storage, select a model with a cabinet underneath or for more free space, select a pedestal sink to open up the area underneath
Add floating shelves or cabinets above the toilet or sink to move your belongings off of the ground and countertops and into a designated space
Swap out your shower curtain and bathroom rug to add a new color scheme and cleaner fill to your bathroom
Treat your bathtub, sink, and toilet with a strong cleaner to remove any calcium, lime, or rust deposits to give your bathroom a super clean feel
Need more space in your home for storage or your growing family? A basement remodel might be in the cards for you instead of building a new room to add-on to your home. Basements make great home additions and the increased square footage can be used as a number of things:
Turn your basement into a kids playroom with organizers for all of their toys and craft supplies
Convert your basement into an extra bedroom to give yourself more space for guests or for your family
Build shelving and organizational systems to store anything you are not currently using, including bike mounts, tool boxes, winter clothing, holiday decorations, and more
Create your dream workspace by partly finishing the basement with a table for a crafting area, storage compartments, wall organizers, and anything else you need to make it your ideal workshop
Want to maximize your space by creating a beautiful outdoor space for nice days? Adding to the exterior beauty of your home can increase its drive-by value and creates an inviting space to come home to after a long day. We can help you:
Build an outdoor deck for seating, grilling, and entertaining
Clean the gutters to keep them lasting longer and to avoid leaks from water buildup on the roof
Repaint the exterior of your home for a clean start and to make you feel like you’re walking up to a new home each time you pull into your driveway
Repair the fence and landscaping to keep your pets and kids safe in the yard with a beautiful backdrop to encourage more time outside
Whatever your home renovation needs are in 2019, Bright Star Handyman Service is here to help! Reach out to us for a free home consultation today and let’s give you the home of your dreams in 2019!
As the year comes to a close we are immensely grateful for this past year! We’ve helped so many of you create the home of your dreams and we couldn’t be happier about it. You’ve placed your trust in us to redesign your outdoor spaces with new decks for the summer and new gutters when the leaves fall. We’ve had the most fun transforming your houses into family-friendly, pet-loving homes. Our goal is to give you the warmest, fuzziest feelings when you think about being at home over the holidays.
If you want to see some of our projects this year, check out our gallery page to see how some small home renovations can make a big difference! If you are on Facebook, we frequently update our followers on availability and completion of our latest projects. Follow us to stay in the loop for all of our Philadelphia, South Jersey, and Fishtown remodels and renovations.
If you find yourself a little too crowded in your space with friends and family this holiday season, we invite you to reach out to us for a free consultation on how we can help you achieve the home of your dreams. Whether you’re looking for a renovation to bring more entertaining space to the living room, or remodeling to open up your kitchen to optimize your space, we’re happy to help. We can help add green, energy-efficient appliances and updates, remove your carpet and replace with hardwood, or convert your basement into a livable space!
No job is too small for our team! Let us help you achieve your dreams this holiday season.
We wish you a happy holiday!
We wish you a happy holiday!
We wish you a happy holiday!
And a happy new year!
Contrary to popular belief, the winter months are an excellent time to commence home improvement projects. They say spring brings new beginners, but winter home improvement projects offer slight advantages over warmer seasons, including shorter completion times and potential discounts. This timeframe, although generally reserved for family, friends and holiday celebration, is an end-of-the-year slowdown for many businesses and contractors. In return, it can be a lucrative time of year to not only secure a great deal, but check off those last-minute items on your to-do list before washing your hands clean of 2018.
The general perception of winter home improvement projects involves a hefty price tag, but the reality is quite the opposite. Whether small projects or moderate upgrades, the following highlights the best winter home improvement ideas that won’t break the bank:
It’s getting colder outside and it is time to start cranking your home heating system, but why is it still cold in your house? Just because the windows and doors of your home are closed & the heater is on doesn’t mean your house will stay warm. The bitter cold of winter can show us where our home is leaking air and raising our gas & electric bills by overusing our heating and cooling systems to compensate.
If you’re sitting on your couch and you feel a slight breeze of cool air, you might have a draft in your home. There are several contributors to having a drafty home and, luckily, there are simple ways to locate and fix the air leaks! When there is a leak in your home, the air inside of the home escapes outside and the outdoor air invades the desired controlled temperature of your home.
How do you locate the source of the draft?
First, notice what room you’re in when you feel it the most. Is it a certain part of the room, like when you’re sitting on the couch? Or is it a general coldness you can feel in multiple rooms?
The most common culprits for air leaks include, but are not limited to, windows, doors, attics, and fireplaces. Sometimes, even light fixtures and electrical outlets can allow air in, if the insulation is old or lacking. There are several ways to remedy unwanted airflow in your home.
Here are some easy ways to fix the draft in your home:
Check the Attic
Heat rises & if there is not enough insulation to keep the heat from leaving the house through the attic, the heated air will rise straight out of your house and let the cold in. Sometimes holes in the roof at the culprit. If you’re not sure, hire a contractor to inspect the attic for you.
Shut the Fireplace Damper
Fires can offer a great source of warmth when they’re in use, but when they’re not blazing, the fireplace becomes a wind tunnel directly in to your living room or bed room. One easy way to keep the cold out and the heat in, is to close the damper between uses. Don’t forget to reopen it before next use though, or you’ll end up with a house full of smoke!
Replace the Weather Stripping on Windows & Doors
As our homes age and slightly deteriorate from normal wear and tear, the rubber pieces that help line up our windows and doors can also wear out. Dried and cracked rubber will not fill the seams of your windows and doors like new, elastic rubber. When the space between the door and the door frame (or window and window frame) is not fully sealed with the rubber, air will make its way inside and out. You might be able to tell when to replace the rubber or you can ask a contractor! Sometimes the windows themselves are the culprit. Read more about windows here.
If you cannot find the source of your air leak, reach out to us for a free consultation and we’ll be happy to arrange a repair man to your home to help you out if you need!
Being cold is not cool. Luckily, with our helpful collection of 12 easy projects, you’ll have your home ready for winter long before the snow flies.
1. Caulk Windows and Doors
It can’t be said enough that windows and doors are the two leading culprits for winter heat loss in your home. With these caulking tips, you’ll be able to keep your home warm and ensure a tight seal around interior trim. And as a result, warm air stays in your home. Don’t forget to check your external caulk as well and fix any gaps before the snow flies.
2. Add Insulation
Beefing up the insulation in your home, particularly in basements and attics can keep your home warm. And will promote a more even temperature and eliminate cold spots. Better yet, adding insulation is a cost-effective solution to what can be an expensive problem over time. Follow our guide to insulating your house, and you will have a toasty home before you can say ‘winter.’
Happy Halloween to all of our friends and family in South Jersey and Philadelphia! We are grateful for your love and support as we enter the last quarter of the year! If you have been considering a home renovation or remodel, now is the time to reach out to Bright Star Handyman Service for a free consultation regarding your next home improvement project.
If you’re curious about whether or not Bright Star is the right fit for you, check out our ever-growing project gallery or our Facebook reviews from satisfied clients. We love hearing from you and supporting you in your kitchen remodel, bathroom redesign, new deck build, garage or basement renovation, or anything else you can imagine! From installing new windows to adding an extra bedroom, we’re happy to help you!
From all of us at Bright Star, we hope you and your family have a safe and Happy Halloween!
There’s nothing like trying to get something done in an unorganized home. It may seem like there are 50,000 projects to do and you have no idea where to start. Sometimes, a major overhaul isn’t necessary, if you can optimize your space in a way that fits you. Here are 5 Ways to Add Storage into Your Home:
Elevate Your Bed
One easy way to create more space in a bedroom is to upgrade to a bed with storage underneath. With the current trend of functionality in home furniture, there are several styles of bed frame with built-in storage that can include cubbies, drawers, or cabinets. A simple way to create more space without purchasing a brand new bed frame is to raise the bed. Many bed frames have a low clearance to the ground, which will not allow for larger storage bins to fit underneath. There are blocks that can be placed under the feet of the bed to add a small 3-4in lift that allows more space underneath. Using a bedskirt can also help hide under the bed storage.
Bookshelves & Cubbies
When you compare a small table to a bookshelf, the surface areas to hold things is typically greater for a bookshelf than a table because of the various levels. If you’re looking for a way to create an organization system for the whole family, get a three-tiered shelf. The bottom shelf is for the kids, and can include baskets for easy organization, the middle shelf is shared family space, the top shelf is for mom & dad. To double up the shelf space in one area, a second the tiered shelf can me mounted on the wall with adjustable bracket hanging tracks.
Hanging Wall Hooks and Fixtures
It’s helpful to move storage off of the floor and countertops and on to the wall for an even higher level of organization. Hanging small baskets in the kitchens and bedrooms can offer a home for keys, mail, pets supplies, and small knick-knacks to provide more countertop space. Hanging hats and long jewelry on the wall in the bedroom or bathroom will help with organization and get your favorite pieces out in front of you to wear more often than tucked away in a drawer.
Optimizing Bathroom Space
There are several relatively easy installations that can accommodate an overcrowded bathroom. Installing an under-the-sink cabinet will offer a tall, hidden space. If you’re still needing more space, mounting a cabinet or series of shelves over the toilet or towel rack can also increase surface area. If you have open shelves, small baskets or organizers can help keep the area looking neat and clean.
Over the Door Organizers
Do not underestimate the space and freedom an over-the-door organizer can offer. Whether you prefer to use a multi-hook hanger or a full-length shoe organizer, you will be surprised how much stuff the back of a door can hold. This is a great place to store shoes, scarves, jewelry, purses, backpacks, jackets, etc.
There are hundreds of ways to create an organization system in your home and the cost can vary greatly. While it’s definitely accessible to do most of the organization yourself, if you would like assistance in creating a custom in-home organization system, reach out to Bright Star Handyman Service for a free consultation!
If you own an in-ground swimming pool and live in a climate where freezing temperatures are normal, you'll need to winterize your pool to protect it during cold-weather months. This will protect it from damage due to freezing water and keep it as clean as possible for the next season.
Check Your Chemistry
The first step in the winterization procedure is to make sure your water chemistry is balanced, including the pool's pH, total alkalinity, and calcium hardness. Doing this will protect the edge of the pool from staining and etching. Adding a winterizing chemical kit to your water will help keep it blue and clear for the next season. Be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions for the kit. Do not use a floater that contains a strong oxidizer (chlorine or bromine) because the floater may stick against the pool wall and stain or bleach it.
Protect the Skimmer
When water freezes, it expands. This can cause great damage to your pool, pool plumbing, and its filter system. To avoid this, lower the water below the mouth of your skimmer(s). This will get the water out of the throat of the skimmer which can be easily damaged if water were to freeze there.
Clean & Repair Rain Gutters
As fall approaches, leaves fall and begin to gather on roofs and in gutters. One of the best ways to prevent water entering your home is to make sure your gutters are offering proper drainage for your home. Wet leaves left on the roof can cause mold and a number of other damaging issues. If you have a really tall house or a steeply angled roof, it might be best to hire a professional to help you out!
Repair Cracks in Concrete
Various temperatures create different stresses on a number of elements in your home. Your concrete, like garage floor, foundation, or even house walls can begin to show signs of wear. In the summer, the heat forces the stone to slightly expand, while the stone contracts in the colder months. While it’s normal and expected, over time the fluctuations can be too much for the concrete. Cracks in your concrete are typically not too hard to repair (unless it’s in the foundation) but are necessary in maintaining the integrity of your home. If water seeps up from the foundation, it can ruin your floors, walls, and anything else the water may touch. It’s best to take care of these repairs quickly and they can be as easy as using a caulk gun and doing it yourself!
Replace or Seal Old Wood
Old window and door frames can be a huge culprit in allowing water into your home. If you own an older home, the sealant on wood can begin to wear down and expose the material to air and water. The elements can begin to break down the integrity of the wood, sometimes allowing water into your home. Sometimes, the fix is as easy as resealing the material, while other times it may take a full removal and re-install process. Your best bet is to ask a professional to inspect the wood to make sure it won’t cause you future problems.
Update Door and Window Seals
When we say ‘seals’, we don’t mean the wood trim and frame around the windows and doors. We’re talking about the rubbery material that creates an airtight seal around your windows and door. As most plastics and rubbers, they will wear down over time. The rubber can shrink and become stiff, hard, and holy, exposing holes in the seal. With these holes, water, air, and sometimes little insects can get into your home. Just like a windshield wiper loses its effectiveness over time, these guys should also be looked at if you’re having leakage around your windows or doors.
Check the Basement
Basements are typically the most common thing to flood in a home. There are many things that can contribute to basement flooding like cracked concrete, leaky washer & dryer intake, or old basement windows. Make the effort to check out your basement from time to time to make sure everything is properly sealed to keep everything dry!