Came out really nice, check it out. . .
Stucco is an extremely popular home siding because it’s handsome and durable, offers texture, and is less costly than other high-end exteriors. According to Fixr.com, stucco typically costs $6 to $9 per square foot, compared with $11 to $15 for stone veneer (which has a similar look).
While it’s not a load-bearing material like cement or concrete, stucco can last for hundreds of years. But if you live in an older home with stucco, at some point you’ll need to know how to repair this mixture of Portland cement, sand, and hydrated lime.
Generally, here’s how damage creeps in: Water seeps beneath the surface, causing chips and soft spots. Once the barrier has been breached, the walls can deteriorate, hairline cracks can appear—and then stucco repair becomes a must.
A stucco professional (yes, they exist) will charge $400 to $750 to repair the exterior of a 1,500-square-foot house. And if you seldom have to repair stucco or masonry or work with cement, it’s worth the price because “the homeowner would have to buy all the supplies for a one-time job,” says Sharon Slade of D.L. Boyd, a Hyattsville, MD–based company that specializes in this type of repair. “A professional has all the supplies and know-how to get the repairs done.”
But if you have an older home that needs frequent exterior repair, you can do the work yourself with a little practice for a fraction of that price.
Stucco repair project overview
- Difficulty: Easy
- Timing: Less than an hour per patch
- Warnings: Wear gloves and eye protection when mixing or chipping
Things you need to repair stucco
- Work gloves
- Eye protection
- Mason’s chisel
- Premixed stucco or a patching compound
- Notched trowel
- Plaster finishing trowel
- “Finishing” tool (e.g., whisk, sponge, piece of board)
It’s been a big year for Drew and Jonathan Scott. They premiered their new HGTV show, “Celebrity IOU,” starred in Season 3 of their hit show “The Property Brothers: Forever Home,” and even have a new season of “Brother vs. Brother”—coming soon!
And while the brothers are always taking risks and trying out new styles, it’s clear that they have some go-to renovation tricks and style choices that give their projects that signature “Property Brothers” style.
Read on to find out which looks the brothers love best, and maybe you’ll be inspired to bring some of these designs into your home.
1. They install two-tone kitchen cabinets
Drew and Jonathan love tying bold colors into their kitchen renovations—but they’re careful not to go overboard with too much of a good thing. That’s why they often choose two-tone cabinets.
Light-toned cabinets allow a kitchen to look fresh, while cabinets with bolder tones allow for some contrast and personality.
Sometimes Drew and Jonathan choose to put the accent cabinets on the kitchen island, other times they go with white uppers and dark lowers. Either way, this colorful style always look incredible.See the rest here!
Wind power is one of the most popular forms of renewable energy, and in some parts of the country, you can drive by huge fields of turbines with their fanlike blades. Home wind turbines, like solar panels, capture energy and help lower your electricity bill. But can this clean fuel source actually power your entire house? And if so, at what cost?
How do home wind turbines work?
If you’ve ever seen a wind farm, you already have a general idea of what the turbines look like when they’re operating. But how exactly do they work?
“They convert the kinetic energy in wind into mechanical power, which in turn is used to run a generator that makes electricity for the home,” says Dan DiClerico, a home expert at HomeAdvisor. The turbine’s long, narrow blades are aerodynamically designed to capture the maximum energy from the wind.
“As the blades rotate, they turn a shaft that is connected to a generator, which produces electricity that is delivered directly to the home,” he explains.
Are home wind turbines practical?
Residential wind turbines are a good option if you live in an area with consistent wind flow—but not gale-force winds, which would cause the National Weather Service to issue a wind advisory.
“Wind turbines operate within a range of wind speeds, below which they do not produce power and above which they will cut out to protect themselves from damage,” says Michael Ginsberg, author of “Harness It: Renewable Energy Technologies and Project Development Models Transforming the Grid.”
So, what’s a good wind speed range? Typically, 8 to 55 mph.
“The rated power output of the wind turbine is based on the rated speed, usually 25 mph to 35 mph,” Ginsberg says.Continue reading
What is a tankless water heater? Also called “demand-type” or “instantaneous water heaters,” these devices deliver warm water only when you want it. Conventional water heaters, on the other hand, perpetually heat water whether you need it or not.
Traditional hot water tanks use electricity or gas to heat and store hot water until that magic moment you decide to take a shower or wash your dishes. As faucets dispense hot water, cold water refills the tank, and the heating process begins again.
If you use hot water faster than your tank can warm the water, you’ll find yourself feeling the side effects, in the form of a cold shower.
Tankless devices, on the other hand, heat water on the way to your faucet; as the name implies, there is no the storage tank. When you turn on the hot water tap, cold water flows into your tankless unit, which uses a much more intense electric current (or blast of gas) to quickly heat water on the way out your tap. Theoretically, the supply of hot water is unlimited.
Tankless water heaters, which can be as small as a suitcase, can produce hot water at the rate of 2 to 5 gallons per minute. If only one person is taking a shower, which requires a flow rate of about 1 to 2 GPM, then you’ll have a lovely, long-lasting hot spray.
Granted, a traditional hot water tank could also deliver the necessary 1 to 2 GPM for a long hot shower… but suppose you are taking a shower while someone is washing dishes (3 to 7 GPM), or your washer is cleaning a load of clothes (1.5 to 3 GPM). Add up all those GPM figures, and a regular heater falls short of your total hot water demand.
The solution is to either stagger hot water usage, install more than one hot water tank, or install a tankless water heater.
How much do tankless water heaters cost—and how much will they save you?
The U.S. Department of Energy says that if you use 41 gallons or less of hot water each day, tankless water heaters can be 24% to 34% more energy-efficient than conventional hot water storage tanks. If you use 86 gallons a day, the efficiency drops to 8% to 14%. The energy ratings institution Energy Star estimates a typical family can save $100 or more a year with a tankless water heater.
But here’s the rub: Tankless water heaters cost up to three times more than conventional heaters to buy and install. A whole-house tankless water heater costs $800 to $3,000, and installation—including upgrading electrical and gas pipe systems— can add $1,000 to $3,000 to those costs. As a result, it might take decades to recoup the cost of your energy-saving appliance.
On top of that, tankless water heaters can be expensive to maintain.
“I’m not a big fan,” says Tom Bigley, a Pittsburgh plumber for 36 years and director of plumbing services for the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry. “They are maintenance-intense and expensive to repair. With parts and a basic service call, you’re at $300 to $400. Is the money you’re saving on energy bills worth that?”
Bottom line: As is the case with most energy-saving appliances, you should carefully weigh the costs of a tankless water heater against the long-term savings to determine whether one’s right for you. If your current setup gives you enough hot water, you’re probably fine as is; but if you’re cringing every morning at the prospect of a cold shower, a tankless water heater could be worth its weight in gold.Original Article
Overview of the process of how they were made. They came out looking real good.
As much as we don’t like to think about it, household appliances need to be upgraded at some point. Most warranties offer an easy solution to this problem, but it isn’t always so simple. Regular maintenance while planning for replacements can help extend the life of your appliances and prevent financial and emotional shock when they break down.
Air conditioner: Good-quality central air conditioners can last up to 20 years, with many replacement parts readily available.
- Filter cleaning or replacement improves efficiency and protects the health of the evaporator coil. The coil should be cleaned once a year.
- Problems may also arise from incorrect installation resulting in leaky ducts and low airflow. Consult an HVAC professional to ensure your AC is functioning properly.
Dishwasher: Dishwashers usually last no more than 10 years.
- Pay attention to lime buildup — use a lime descaler once a year to extend the life of your appliance.
- Clean your dishwasher’s filter every six months to greatly improve its cleaning ability.
Refrigerator: Refrigerators need to be replaced about every 15 years.
- Clean dusty condenser coils twice a year to improve performance and extend the life of your refrigerator.
- Clean door gaskets to ensure a tight seal and prevent stress to the refrigerator’s motor — gasket repairs can be costly.
Washer/Dryer: At an average of one load per day, all newer model washing machines and dryers can last up to 14 years.
- Avoid overloading your washer to reduce the strain placed on its moving parts and extend its life.
- Clean the lint screen on your dryer after every load to improve circulation and eliminate fire hazards — use the long nozzle on vacuum to clean lint missed by the screen.
- Clean the dryer vent ducting once a year so it flows cleanly.
Water heater: Depending on the type of water heater in your home (standard storage, tankless, heat pump or solar) it can last anywhere from 10 to 20 years.
- Water heaters are subject to rust and mineral buildup. Flushing sediment from the tank and checking the anode rods once a year will help improve efficiency and longevity. Replacing the anode rods when needed can save you hundreds of dollars.
- Experts recommend repairing rather than replacing your water heater up until 10 years of use. When problems become more complicated after that, it’s time to consider upgrading.
Looking to make your outdoor area more livable? Consider adding a hardscape feature to complement your plants and flowers. A decked-out backyard can give a big boost to your property’s value, and hardscaping can be a central part of this. So what is hardscaping and how much should you budget to make it into a reality for your home? Read on.
What is hardscaping?
Your home’s outdoor spaces consist of hardscapes and softscapes.
“While softscapes are your plants and living elements, hardscaping encompasses the nonliving elements of landscaping—like a paver patio, stone wall, or a gazebo,” says Joe Raboine, director of residential hardscapes at Belgard, which makes residential and commercial products.
Hardscaping can increase the functionality of your outdoor space and can be designed to match your preferred style: traditional, modern, rustic, you name it.
“Using materials such as wood, stone, metal, and concrete, hardscapes can also add physical boundaries and dimension to your yard,” says Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for the National Association of Landscape Professionals.Continue reading