Home Improvement Archive

Reducing the Risk of Staircase Accidents

Woman jogging up the stairsStaircase slips, trips, and falls can result in serious injury and even death. It’s therefore important that all stairs have safety features and have the right design and dimensions. According to many websites such as ackworthhouse.co.nz, here are some easy ways of lowering the risk of falls on stairs.

1. Suitable Riser and Tread Design

Most people view the first and last three steps and negotiate the rest of the stairway without looking. You should, therefore, pay attention to the design of the bottom three and top three steps in the staircase. Make sure all treads and risers are visible, and their dimensions are uniform throughout the stairway. Also, have an intermediate landing if your stairway has more than 12 steps.

2. Make Sure Stairs Are Well Lit

When thinking about lighting for your staircase, pay attention to design, construction and desired effect. Verify that the stairway is correctly illuminated but without glare.

3. Install Handrails

A large percentage of accidental falls from staircases are a result of an absence of handrails. Without the rails, some would be unable to keep their balance when ascending or descending stairs. Install highly visible handrails on both sides of your stairs at a suitable height with a colour that contrasts with the surroundings.

4. Proper Maintenance and Use

Using non-slip surfaces on staircases can help prevent accidents. Also, keeping the steps clean and in top condition could prevent further accidents. Repair any missing or loose steps and torn or loose carpet coverings immediately. Always keep your stairs clear and discourage rushing up or down the stairs.

5. Reconsider Short Stairways

Research indicates that a significant number of falls occur on stairs with one, two, or three steps. To prevent “air step” falls, reconsider low stairways or remodel them into ramps.

Stairways slips, trips, and falls are usually a result of a combination of faults in design and deficiencies in lighting, visibility and attention. Accordingly, accidents can be easily prevented if staircases are properly designed, maintained, and used.

Take Care of Your Investment: Maintenance Tips for Your Home

House maintenance guyYour home is an investment. It is perhaps the biggest purchase you will ever make, so it only makes sense that you protect its value. With a little luck and a reasonable amount of care, your home can have an even higher value in the future.

Whether you’re already thinking about selling your home in the future or not, it pays to take good care of it. Firstly, a properly maintained home is something you can be proud of and comfortable in. Secondly, if you ever decide to sell at some point, you’ll thank yourself for taking care of your investment. And of course, if you take care of it, there is a smaller chance that you’ll have to spend a fortune on big repairs.

Here are a few reminders on how to keep your home in great shape.

Take spring repairs seriously

Every spring, cleaning is not the only thing you should think about. You should also consider inspecting your home for possible damage brought on by the harsh winter. This is the time to hire roof repair in Aurora, IL, in case you spot lifted or cracked shingles, broken flashing, rusted or dented gutters and downspouts, etc., especially if you rake snow off your roof. You may also want to take a look at your chimney and the air vents in your attic.

Consider replacing your wood siding

Wood siding is good, but it doesn’t hold up well against the cold and damp weather. It can harbor mold and insects too. Spend a bit more and replace your wood siding with fiber cement, which is insect-, rot-, and fireproof. If you think fiber cement is too expensive, the next best thing is vinyl. Vinyl, however, is not fireproof, and as it isn’t a good paintable surface, you are probably limited to the colors available from the manufacturer.

Test for radon

Your basement is an important area if you are the type who needs lots of storage or an extra work room during winter. You may be at risk of lung cancer, however, if there is radon down in your basement. Get a test kit to check for the presence of this radioactive gas. A test kit is inexpensive, and it could potentially save your or your family’s life.

Test for insulation issues

Insulation is vital for energy conservation. Have your home audited for energy use and insulation. It’s usually easy and cheap to do minor tweaks, seals, and repairs to make your home more energy efficient.

A properly cared-for home is a more valuable home. Don’t let your big investment fall to disrepair. Follow this advice, and you’ll enjoy a home that always seems new.

Understanding and Controlling Weeds in Your Lawn

Garden maintenanceWeeds are a bane to keeping a healthy lawn. Homeowners seem to be in a never-ending battle trying to get rid of weeds. Luckily, there are ways to control weed infestation.

Greenside Landscaping noted that proper lawn weed control in Salt Lake City depends on the types of weed that infest your yard. Understand what weeds are and why they thrive in your lawn.

What are Weeds?

In a controlled environment, such as a well-manicured lawn or flowerbed, it is quite easy to spot weeds. If you are a homeowner who takes pride in their lawn, weed infestation could be a nuisance. Weeds are the unwelcome plants that show up uninvited in the most unlikely places, and usually on their own. If neglected, they could become invasive and gain control of your flowerbed.

There are weeds that produce flowers and need little maintenance. Some homeowners even plant them on purpose. In general, most types of weed are unwanted and unattractive.

Why Weeds Infest Your Law

Weeds have the capability to spread fast. This is because they can produce lots of seedlings within a short period of time. There are several factors that may cause weeds to infest your lawn and become widespread. These include:

  • Use of inappropriate mowing methods
  • Improper lawn fertilization
  • Insufficient lawn irrigation
  • Using the inappropriate weed removal method for the particular types of weed in your lawn

Why You Must Get Rid of Weeds

Aside from being unappealing, weeds seem to be harmless. This is not true. Weeds can cause problems for your plants, as they compete for space, air, and water. Receiving fewer nutrients can stunt the growth of your plants. Weeds can also bring a lot of plant diseases. They can even be harmful to your pets and other members of the household.

If you want to have a healthy and well-maintained lawn, you need to keep weeds away.

A Quick Guide to Fertilizing Your Lawn

Luxury house with beautiful lawnEveryone wants a lush, green, and healthy lawn, but only a few know how to actually make it happen. Lawn fertilization is a great way to have that beautiful lawn you’ve always wanted for your Salt Lake City home, but it’s not as simple as that. Greenside Landscaping reminds that different types of grass demand different levels of care. The more you fertilize, the more your lawn will look great. This also means that the level of maintenance your lawn needs will increase.

Here are some tips to get you that lawn you’ve always wanted:

Read the Numbers on the Label Carefully

The three numbers on the label represent the nitrogen, phosphate, and potassium content. These are also the nutrients your lawn needs the most. If the fertilizer says 20-5-10 on the label, it means 20% nitrogen, 5% phosphate, and 10% potassium, which is a good basic mix for spring. The other 65% of the bag contains filler material used to make sure that application is even.

Slow-Release Fertilizers

Slow-release fertilizers allow you to fertilize every six to eight weeks instead of only four weeks because their nutrients break down longer than regular fertilizers. A slow-release is better if it has the right amount of nitrogen in its ingredients, which is one-tenth of a pound per week. Excessive amounts of nitrogen will not make the grass any greener, it will make it grow faster. This means you will have to spend more time mowing your lawn.

When is the Best time to Fertilize Your Lawn?

  • Warm-season grasses – They are best fertilized from late spring to early fall. Fertilizing too early in spring will achieve nothing but feed and encourage the growth of cool-season weeds. On the other hand, fertilizing too late in fall will make the grass less healthy and will become susceptible to winter injury.
  • Cool-season grasses – The best time to feed these grasses is during fall and spring. Feeding them while it’s still fall, however, can keep them growing longer into cool weather and allowing them to become greener during spring. You also don’t need to fertilize again until spring. Avoid feeding cool-season grasses too early in spring because you will end up with overly abundant top growth but weak root growth.

The secret to a healthy lawn is using the right kind of soil, fertilizing at the right time, and giving it the right amount of water and fertilizer. Everything in moderation because anything too much or too little is a bad thing. Always check the label of the fertilizer you will use for instructions and follow them religiously.

Top 3 Luxury Home Upgrades You Can Afford

Luxury house

The idea of luxury houses seems to be scaring off many people mainly because of the long-standing view that these kinds of mansions are far too expensive for the average person to afford. But do you know that you don’t have to be born with a silver spoon to be able to live in a luxurious home? The options we have these days give ordinary people the chance to live in richly furnished homes without having to spend thousands of dollars in the process.

Now that you know it’s possible, wouldn’t you want to live in a luxurious home, too?

Graphic Builders Inc. shares some ideas on how to turn any decent home into a stunning and luxurious abode:

The Great Outdoors

With more people being able to afford high-end luxury upgrades, you’ll be surprised how simple changes can increase your home’s value and make you feel like a millionaire. One such upgrade focuses more on the outdoors.

For example, upgrading your patio to look like a luxurious lounge is more about finding the perfect design than spending huge sums of money. Installing an outdoor kitchen doesn’t have to be expensive, but it does get you feeling quite rich. Additionally, a garden oasis with a cheap $30 hammock surrounded by colorful flowers can match a hot tub any day.

Tech Savvy

Home automation sounds like something straight out of a science fiction movie, but you’ll be surprised that the future is closer than you think. For example, video doorbells that once adorned the gates of fancy Los Angeles mansions are becoming more popular and accessible to the common household. For as little $100-$200, you can have one of these nifty gadgets and increase your home’s value by thousands.

Upgrade, Upgrade, Upgrade

Simply replacing your flooring with affordable but great-looking tiles can instantly change the mood and ambiance of your home. You might still need a general contractor to have additional fixtures installed, but that expense doesn’t compare to the overall value it adds to your house.

Whether you’re planning to live in a luxurious house or upgrading to increase your home’s selling price, home improvements that once were exclusive for the rich are now more accessible to you. Go find the right contractor to help you turn your vision into reality.

Choosing Used Office Furniture

Multicolored Office Chairs

Buying used furniture for your office should make you more discerning when it comes to choice. You still have to follow certain guidelines to ensure you are getting the right furniture for your office space and your employees.
 
Used office furniture shops in Las Vegas offer something special and unique because each piece captures what a buyer should have in their office. However, New Life Office suggests that you should know what to look for when buying used furniture.
 

Tags

 
Tags would tell you where the item was sourced, and help you decide whether to refurbish it or not. Price tags also help you determine whether an item should be sold at its new price or not. If the furniture comes from a department store and you know how much it might have originally cost, do a little math and see if the new price is worth your money.
 

Quality of Construction

 
You have to be knowledgeable on quality. Check the sturdiness of an office table. Listen if the drawers creak if you open or close them. Be wary of hinges – are they secured? A few scratches and dents here and there are all right as long as they don’t compromise the sturdiness and functionality of the furniture.
 

Material

 
Check the materials of the furniture and see for wear and tear. Check if the material is aesthetically pleasing and comfortable. Know what looks good in your office and what is comfortable for you and your employees to use. A chair too soft might not help your employee concentrate on work. 
 

Ergonomics

 
More than comfort, keep in mind the health of your employees. A desktop computer should be at their eye level, and the table and chair shouldn’t be too high that they have to exert effort while typing or writing. For chairs, find ones that have good back support
 
Check the seat height, width, and depth, including the material. At least choose a seat with cushion, backrest, and lumbar support. You can find a lot of ergonomic chairs and other used office furniture in Las Vegas furniture stores.
 
Used office furniture is not an outdated idea. It works in most offices, and if you’re lucky, you can get the best items for an affordable price.