A Resource Guide to Home Improvements for Older Houses

home improvements

home improvements

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An old house has a certain charm to it, thanks to its traditional architecture and lengthy history.                           However, if you own an older property, you also have to put extra effort and money into maintaining it.                 The right home improvements will help ensure your place remains comfortable and functional and can help   protect the property value.

This resource guide provides tips and tools regarding worthwhile home improvements.

 Tackle Issues Impeding Functionality First

 Start with the basics.

●     Plumbing problems are common in older properties. Hire a pro to tackle common issues like corroded           pipes and outdated fixtures to improve efficiency.

●     Older homes often lack insulation. Make fresh insulation installation a priority for your old home                     renovations, as it can enhance comfort and cut HVAC costs.

●     Family Handyman notes you can also decrease expenses by adding a new HVAC system to your to-do             list of home renovations. This is a job best left to an expert, not a DIY task.

 Boost Property Value with Modern Upgrades Next

 With the essentials taken care of, you can tackle the “nice to have” points on your remodeling checklist.

●     Consider giving your house a more modern look by embracing open concept floor plans

        that remain popular among buyers.

●     Invest in appliances that enhance resale value, like stoves, refrigerators, and low-energy washing                     machines.

●     Give the interior rooms a fresh coat of paint, focusing on hues that sell well, like neutral white and off-           whites.

●     As you make improvements, keep receipts. Redfin explains that if you sell your home,

       you can use these to show the investment you’ve made and boost value.

 Finish Off with Necessary Exterior Upgrades

 Your home’s exterior plays a big part in its curb appeal.

●     Clean up your house’s siding and get it sparkling using a hose and power washer.

●     Prioritize perennials in your garden, so you’ll have flowers blooming all year round.

●     Establish a thriving lawn with a regular routine of mowing, watering, and fertilizing.

●     Invest in your landscaping by getting the right outdoor power tools to maintain a well-manicured lawn.

       Top Outdoor Tools has tips on what you need.

 An old house can be a beautiful asset—if it’s well maintained. Giving your property some tender loving care will ensure it’s looking its best. The above guide provides some resources to help guide the way.

  • a couple of years ago

Guide to Choosing the Best Lawn Mower for Your Needs

guide to choosing the best lawn mower for your needs

This guide to choosing the best lawn mower for your needs will help you narrow down the vast choices of both types and sizes of mowers available for purchase.

Having a great-looking lawn gives many people a sense of deep satisfaction.  They spend hours every week cutting the grass, edging around the lawn, caring for flowers and more. They consider their lawn an extension of their home and treat it like a masterpiece to be carefully displayed.

Others, however, view a lawn as just one more thing to take care of. They just want to get outside, get the job done and cross that off the to-do list. Whichever way you feel about lawn work, there are a few tips and tools that can help you have a great-looking lawn with the least amount of fuss. Even if you don’t mind the fuss, by using the best lawn mower for your needs, you’ll free up time to move on to other indoor or outdoor homeowner projects.

Treating your lawn well does more than give your home curbside appeal. A great-looking lawn can also keep many pests, both plant and insect, from making a home in your grass. A yard that’s well-tended is a barrier against erosion, too.


push mower for flat lawns

The right lawn mower isn’t necessary just to cut the grass. Without the right lawn mower, your grass can become unhealthy and unsightly. Since you have to spend time taking care of it anyway, you might as well treat your lawn to the best.

There is a relationship that takes place between a mower and a yard. Not every mower is suitable for every yard. You can choose from a self-propelled mower, a reel mower, a riding lawn mower, an electric mower or, if you have plenty of money to spend on a mower, you can even get a robot mower that will mow the grass for you.

robot mower

Match the mower to your lawn for the best results and maybe even saving you some money.

While there are as many different styles of lawns as there are mowers, not every mower on the market will be suited for your lawn. For example, if you have a small lawn, you certainly wouldn’t want to pay for a huge riding lawn mower because you wouldn’t have the room to maneuver something as large as a riding one.

If your lawn is fairly small to medium-sized, then you’ll want to buy a lawn mower that you can push. These mowers are fairly inexpensive and easy to maintain. You don’t need as much horsepower in a mower that’s used for small to medium-sized lawns, either. You’ll want to consider the size of the mower’s width. The wider the mower, the larger span you can have on the blades, which shortens the amount of time spent cutting the grass.

Before you pick out a mower, you should do a yard check. Take stock of the surface area of your lawn. Pay attention to whether your lawn is rough or has a fairly even grass surface. Next, note if your lawn is mostly in the sun or if it’s shaded or if there is a mixture. If the lawn area has a lot of shade, does the lawn that’s covered by shade consist of thicker grass?

Look at the landscaping of your lawn. Are there a lot of bushes you’re going to have to mow around? Do you have a lot of flowerbeds? And what do you have around those flower beds? What kinds of decorations are on your lawn? Do you have landscape lights along your walkways?

If you have a lot of things on your lawn that you’re going to have to move your lawn mower around, you’re going to want one that will get you close to the decorations as possible so that you don’t have to go back over as many spots with a weedeater.


push mower

If you have a lawn that’s uneven or at a slant, it would be better mowed using a self-propelled mower so that you’re not struggling to push the machine.

Mowing Habits Might Affect Your Purchase

Some people prefer to mow their grass on a regular schedule, such as once weekly, while others prefer a schedule of once every other week. Some people don’t schedule lawn maintenance at all, they just mow the grass whenever it starts looking too long.

If you mow your grass every week, you have to be careful not to mow it down too short. Not only can you cause soil erosion from mowing too short, but you can cause your grass to die and your lawn to get brown patches.

One sign that you’re not mowing your grass correctly is if you notice after you’re done mowing that there are lumps of grass clippings left in the mower’s wake. This means that your grass was left too long.

Another sign of improper mowing is a lot of weeds in the grass. Some people think weeds are a sign that a lawn isn’t being mowed often enough but it’s actually a sign that you’re cutting your grass too short. The best rule for cutting grass is to never cut the grass shorter than two inches. It’s better to leave grass at three inches, but some people don’t like the grass at that height.

If your grass is fast-growing and you don’t get around to mowing it as often as it needs it, that can make a difference in the type of mower that you should use because not all mowers can handle grass that’s taller. It will bog the mower down, make it shut off often and put a lot of wear on the motor.

Another mowing habit to consider is whether or not you mow your grass when it’s completely dry. You should not mow your grass when it’s wet because it’s not good for your grass. You’ll get an uneven cut and it’s also not good for your mower. Wet grass causes mowers to shut off and it can clump to the underside as well as clog mowers, too. If you’re using a bag mower, wet grass is heavy and difficult to remove from the bag.

Sizing Up Your Mower’s Cutting Ability

To look at how differently mowers cut grass, all you have to do is take a drive through a random neighborhood. You’ll find grass that looks like a herd of goats set upon it because the grass looks choppy, high in some places and low in others. You’ll see lawns that look like they have more clippings than grass. Then you’ll see other lawns that look like the grass was given an ugly flattop, while other lawns look in high need of a decent mower.

How your lawn looks depends on both you and your mower. You can take care of the length of the grass simply by adjusting the height of your mower to a set level. But if you notice a consistent performance that’s not what you want, it could be that you have the wrong mower for your grass.

For your grass to look even, you have to have a mower that can handle the terrain of your lawn. For example, if you have a sloped lawn, if you struggle to push a mower up the slope, this can result in uneven grass, which is why it’s always better to use self-propelled mowers for yards that are not flat.

Power Isn’t Always the Most Important Factor

Some people automatically assume that the more power a lawn mower has, the better job it will do at cutting the grass. Surprisingly, how much power a lawn mower has is not the number one factor you should look at when choosing a mower. The power of the motor is simply what allows the mower to work. It won’t do you any good to have a mower that’s powerful if it does a terrible job of cutting the grass and your grass ends up looking uneven.

How your lawn mower does the job of cutting your grass is always the most important factor. The cutting ability of a mower is determined by the deck and also by the type of mower you have as well as what kind of condition the blades are in.

If you have a good new mower that’s suited for your lawn, cutting performance isn’t usually an issue. But as time goes on, you might start to notice that the grass looks ragged after it’s been cut. Most people don’t realize that dull or ineffectual mowing blades can actually cause damage to the grass.

It’s the same concept as getting a haircut with a dull pair of scissors. All a dull blade is doing is tugging on the grass and making haphazard cuts rather than slicing it off neatly and evenly. If you notice grass blades that aren’t cut all the way through or grass blades that bend rather than getting cut, the cutting performance of the lawn mower is the cause and not the power of the machine.

What Will Your Mower Do With the Cuttings?

What happens to the clippings as you mow obviously depends on the type of mower that you use. Some people choose to use mowers that are all in one model so that once the yard is mowed, there aren’t any clippings. Or they prefer to use a bag mower, simply because they plan to use the clippings in compost piles.

Guide to Choosing the Best Lawn Mower for Your Needs

There are several different bag mowers you can choose from and the one you select should be based on your yard type and how often you mow your grass. Mowers that use side discharge for the clippings work well for some lawns as long as the discharge isn’t slanted down because you don’t want to mow the grass only to turn around and have to rake it when you’re done.

Clippings that are left on the ground, especially clippings that are too thick, promote plant and grass diseases that can quickly overtake a lawn. If you leave clippings and look over your lawn after moving the clippings, you might notice yellow patches where these clippings were. That’s a sign that the grass was deprived of sun. And even though some clippings are useful, an over-abundance of clippings put out by a mower is not – unless, of course, they’re mulched.

Most regular mowers simply leave the clippings on the ground, but you have to look at two factors when deciding if this is the type of mower you want. First, if you’re mowing your grass less often and the grass gets kind of tall, then it will cause your mower to become clogged. Of course, that, in turn, affects how your mower performs.

If you’ve chosen a bag mower to deal with your cuttings, then you should know that bag mowers aren’t supposed to leave any sign of the clippings. You should not have to deal with patches of clippings or go behind and rake at all.

When you’re looking at the various lawn mowers with bags, you’ll see that they range in size to include small, medium and large. You’ll want to get the mower that has a bag capable of holding a vast amount because otherwise, you’ll be spending a whole lot of time doing repeated emptying of the bag. Some mowers with bags also offer a versatile choice. You can choose to have side discharge, mulching or a roomy bag, too.

Additional Features

Mowing the grass is something that has to be done, but that doesn’t mean that it has to be an uncomfortable job. If you’ve ever mowed a large yard, then you know how easy it is to get blisters on your hands when you grip an uncomfortable mower handle. So, one feature you want to look at is a mower that has a comfortable grip.

But you want to pay attention to the mower’s safety features. One of the most common causes of injuries in push mowers is slipping and falling because of yard incline, damp grass or stumbling over a tree root. The lever on the handle of the mowers is designed to be a safety feature. Once that lever is released, the mower will automatically shut off which means the sharp blade stops turning.

Some models have a blade clutch, which will shut down the blade but will allow the mower to keep running. Another safety feature is longer handles on mowers. Riding lawn mowers are made now so that they can’t operate if you put the machine in reverse. Putting it in reverse will shut down the blades.

These types of mowers are also made with a safety mode that engages if the person mowing the grass leaves the mower. The safety mechanism will shut down the engine. Some riding lawn mowers have a rollover protective structure. Coupled with a seat restraint, this feature is designed to prevent serious injury or death in the event of a rollover.

A feature that you’ll want in a mower is rear-wheel drive. This is a feature that makes a push mower easier to operate because they grip better and the rear wheel power takes the load off of you. Mowers with rear-wheel drive are great for lawns that are sloped or that are hilly.

If you’ve ever pulled on a recoil rope to get a mower started, then you know how that can be an exercise in frustration sometimes not to mention how it can strain your shoulder. Mowers with a key startup turn on with a simple flick of the wrist, and you don’t have to push a button to prime with a key startup, either.

Another feature you will like is a wash-out port. This lets users wash out debris from under the mowing deck instead of having to clean it by hand. It keeps your mower free from debris for optimal performance.

Factoring Price Into the Equation

Finally, you’ll want to figure the cost of the lawnmower against the performance you’re going to get from the machine. You’ll also want to look at the cost of maintenance when considering the mower you choose. The size of the lawn needing mowing will determine whether or not it’s more cost-effective to get a push mower or a riding lawn mower.

riding mower

Take each of the different types of mowers, the self-propelled, the reel, electric, bag, etc., and compare the features they offer (that would be beneficial to you) against the cost of the machine. Take into consideration how often you mow the grass and how much extra time you want to spend on yard maintenance.

For example, if you hate to rake up clippings, then obviously, you’ll want a bag mower. Also look at how well the mower makes the lawn look, how easy it is to maneuver the machine and the durability of the mower.

  • a couple of years ago

Safety Tips for the Proper Use of Yard String Trimmers

safety tips for the proper use of yard string trimmers

Safety tips for the proper use of yard string trimmers go beyond just putting on some safety gear. 

When you own a yard string trimmer, it is a good idea to invest in some safety equipment. You will not know when an accident could occur so it is good to be prepared. You should always keep an eye on your family and children while using any product that can potentially harm them. Here are a few Safe Use of Yard String Trimmers Safety Tips to follow.

It is important that you have all the safety features on a string trimmer that you can think of. If you do not have one of these, you may find yourself in trouble. Always read the safety instructions for the model of string trimmer that you own before you start operating it. The manufacturers of these products understand that they can be dangerous if used incorrectly.

Always remember to fully charge your string trimmer before using it. That will give you the most power and will let you finish the job without having to wait for recharging the battery. If you are going to use it for the first time, you should practice with it for about twenty minutes before you start using it in any larger areas. Battery-powered trimmers are quite powerful and are capable of causing serious injury if used improperly.

Always make sure that you clean your yard string trimmers after every use. There is no sense in keeping something so useful around the house and not being able to use it safely. These trimmers collect a lot of dirt and grass debris during the trimming procedure especially if the grass tends to be a little damp. You should remove all of the caked-on grass and make sure to keep the motor vents free from debris so it does not overheat. Wipe all of the surfaces off with a damp cloth including the string holder and associated areas.

Research and find the proper type and size of string trimmer for your particular yard work.

Most people with yards that have trees, flower beds, sidewalk areas, driveways, or other areas where the mower can’t completely trim can make use of a string trimmer. They come in all types of sizes and power ranges. There are gas-powered string trimmers but unless you have a very large area to trim they usually are not necessary for the average homeowner. There are battery-powered trimmers that can do most jobs just fine. In fact, some people actually prefer to use rechargeable battery-powered trimmers because they are much quieter and typically weigh much less than a gas-powered trimmer. They also get rid of the cost of gasoline and oil and are much less messy. 

safety tips for the proper use of yard string trimmers

Rechargeable battery-powered string trimmers are the perfect choice for anyone that wants to keep their yard looking nice and manicured. The batteries for many of them charge quite rapidly today and that beats having to be mixing gas and oil and pouring it into your trimmer. Always wear safety glasses or goggles when using a trimmer. It is also a good idea to wear gloves for hand protection. Make sure there are no people near the areas where you are trimming because these devices can propel rocks and other debris at great speeds which can cause serious injury.

  • a couple of years ago

Power Leaf Blowers – What You Need To Know To Buy The Right One For Your Lawn

power leaf blower

Power leaf blowers are a great tool to have around your house because of the variety of jobs they can do for you.

Power Leaf Blowers are one of the most efficient and reliable tools used for yard work and landscaping, whether done on a large scale or by individuals. There are numerous types of leaf blowers with many different sizes and power sources available, but all use an impeller or centrifugal pump for moving air through blades. Power leaf blowers come in different power types and power ratings. Here is a brief outline of power leaf blowers main categories:

Electric leaf blowers are one of the most popular power machines for landscaping yards and lawn care. The main benefit of these machines is that they do not require any fuel such as gas. Also, most models are very compact and easy to store, making them a perfect addition to a home or garage.

power leaf blower

Electric power leaf blowers use either an electrical cord hook up or batteries to power the motor, which also makes them more efficient than gasoline-powered models. Many people prefer the battery-powered blowers simply because they are more convenient to use because you are not tied to a cord. However, depending on how big the job is, you may need more than one battery to complete the job.

Gas-powered leaf blowers are the most widely purchased type of power leaf blowers for commercial yard care companies. Many times they will be doing large jobs or multiple jobs and they need to be able to just refuel and not have to wait for recharging of batteries. A downside to gas-powered leaf blowers is that they require gas, and they emit toxic fumes into the air.

gas powered leaf blower

Advise the salespeople who sell these power leaf blowers and let them help you determine what might be the best power leaf blower for your needs.

In order to be sure that you are purchasing a power blower that is powerful enough for your needs, you should consult with the salesperson where you are purchasing the item and give him information about what you will use it for. They can then help you decide which type and size of tool will work best for your particular needs.

There are many different brands of power leaf blowers to choose from, but you want to stick with well-known names for service and parts availability. Look for a power blower that is able to provide at least 300 watts of power. Although this may not be a huge amount of power, it will be enough to easily handle most lawn projects.

Leaf blower accessories and safety gear

Some leaf blowers come with a bag attachment and the blower motor can be reversed and act like a vacuum. It then vacuums the leaves into the system and shreds them before depositing them into the bag. Just like some other lawn power tools, you should consider wearing safety glasses or goggles to keep debris out of your eyes. Gloves can be a useful item as well for those who want to prevent blisters or just stay a little cleaner.

leaf blower with vacuum attachment

  • a couple of years ago

WEN 6321 7 Amp Heavy Duty Belt Sander Review

WEN 6321 7 Amp Heavy Duty Belt Sander

In spite of the fact there are many decent sanders on the market, we would like to recommend the WEN 6321 7-Amp 3 in. x 21 in. Corded Belt Sander with Dust Bag, Black

If you do a bunch of woodworking in your shop, undoubtedly there’s going to be times when you want to have a sander, not simply any sander, but one that is reliable. Even though there are many decent sanders on the market, the one we wish to strongly recommend would be the WEN 6321 7 Amp Heavy Duty Belt Sander. In order to determine whether or not this sander is a good solution for you, keep on reviewing what we have to say about it.

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  • 3 years ago

DEWALT DCK590L2 5-Tool Combo Kit Is A Powerful Tool Group

Dewalt 5tool kit

Dewalt power tools have a stellar reputation for quality around the world.

When it comes down to power tools, Dewalt is a trade name that certainly emerges from the crowd around the world. So if you’re trying to find the very best of the very best, we would advise choosing Dewalt for notable good reasons. Mind you, this doesn’t indicate other brand names aren’t good, it just means when we see items by Dewalt, we know that it is constructed from superior quality materials that will endure for many years ahead.

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  • 3 years ago
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