Maintaining Your Foundation and Concrete Flatwork

Your foundation has been designed by an engineer to withstand the plasticity of your soil, based on the soils investigation done prior to construction. It is critical for you to try and maintain even and uniform moisture content around your home. Uneven moisture content could cause one part of your home to move at a different rate than the remainder of the home. For this reason, in periods of drought it is important to water completely around the foundation, and to maintain proper grade and drainage so that excess water runs away from the house. In some situations it may be necessary to install perimeter…

Cleaning Ceramic Tile

Ceramic tiles are popular as design features within many areas of today's modern homes. They vary in size, style, color and cost, and are popularly used because of their beauty as well as their ease to clean. Whether used as flooring or on walls, ceramic tiles can be maintained easily if you follow some standard procedures for their upkeep. Ceramic tiles are made from clay that contain silicates. To produce a tile, this clay mixture is formed and baked at high temperatures. Ceramic tiles can be purchased in two forms: unglazed or glazed. Unglazed tiles typically require more cleaning maintenance because t…

Create A Moving Checklist and Relocate Easily

Let's face it — one of the most daunting moments in many of our lives involves the process of moving. What begins as an exciting prospect involving a new home and the joys that a new apartment or home ownership offers can often be overshadowed by the logistical needs required to move out of one's current residence. With proper planning and structure, learn how packing and moving can be done in a manner that won't ruin the enjoyable moments in your relocation plans. Two Months Prior to Moving Day Once you're aware of an impending move, the first plan is to establish a plan. You'll need to determine w…

Core Aeration Gets To The Root Of Hard Soil

During March and April, homeowner thoughts turn to the quality of their lawns. Lawn quality is measured in terms of color, density and uniformity. Soil conditions, fertilization, and watering are the factors that affect lawn quality. Of these, the condition of your lawn's soil and your fertilization schedule have the greatest impact. It's entirely possible that the grass will be unable to take up the nutrients provided by spring fertilization due to poor soil conditions. Is the soil beneath your grass hard and lumpy? Does water run off after the grass has been irrigated? Does it always seem "thirsty", i…

Painting Your Home’s Interior

Latex VS Oil Based Paints Latex paint is water-based, and it's probably the most common type of paint used today. Oil-based paint had its heyday; it was great for leaving a high-gloss finish and it had a lot of good qualities, but latex has come so far that it's now surpassed oil-based paints. Latexes are so much easier to clean up when you have it on your hands or on your brushes. They don't blister and peel like oil paints sometimes do. Plus there's not that odor when you're painting inside your house. So latex has a lot of great features, especially touch-up. If you touch up oil paint you can see where…

End Of Summer Lawn And Garden Tips

Plant Fall color such as mums, asters, marigolds, zinnias, and celosia. Fall-flowering bulbs such as spider lilies, fall crocus, and fall amaryllis. Finish warm-season vegetable plantings of beans, corn, cucumbers, melons, and squash. Cool-season vegetables, including broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, cabbage, spinach, potatoes, lettuce, carrots, beets, radishes, and English peas. Finish planting warm-season lawn grasses: buffalo, Bermuda, St. Augustine, and zoysia. Wildflower seed. Water Water deeply and as infrequently as possible. Your garden and landscape will usually need more water this month…

Pool Safety Tips

Drowning accidents are the leading cause of injury/deaths among children under five. More than 80 percent of the drownings occur in residential backyard pools or spas. It can happen quickly, always without warning, without a splash, and without a cry for help. To help avoid such a tragedy, please read the following pool safety tips. Secure Pool Area A fence or barrier completely surrounding the pool can prevent many drowning accidents. Most children who drown or nearly drown were last seen in the yard, porch, or patio prior to the accident. Although a fence separating the pool and spa in the single most e…

Fall Lawn Preparation

Care of your lawn in the fall is as important as in spring and summer. Regular care is the key to an attractive and healthy lawn through the fall and winter months. Here are few things you can do to help your lawn survive the winter and recover vigorously in the spring. Fertilization — Fall fertilization is the key to prolonging fall color and promoting early spring recovery of the lawn. It helps produce a dense turf that resists winter weeds. Fertilizer used in the fall should be higher in nitrogen and potassium and lower in phosphorus. Grasses fertilized this way have shown greater survival during…

Protecting Your Wood Floor

The Wood Floor Manufacturers Association states that wood floors are the easiest of all floor types to keep clean and looking new. In order to accomplish this several items must be taken into consideration. These include keeping dirt and grit off the floor, keeping water off the floor, and maintaining the surface finish. Cleaning Clean weekly with a dust mop or vacuum. A damp mop may be used for spills, but never for general cleaning. The water can get into crevices in the wood and result in damage to the floor. Do not ever use a dripping mop. Keep dirt and grit off the floor to prevent scratches. Putting…

Fireplace Maintenance

Always be sure the damper is fully open before starting a fire in the fireplace. It can, and should be closed during non-use to avoid conditioned air loss. Gas Starters When you have a gas starter, first arrange your logs and open the fresh air vent, if applicable, then start a small fire with newspaper before attempting to turn on the gas starter. Once the wood is sufficiently burning, you can turn off the starter. Do not leave the valve key in the valve to avoid unintentional gas leaks. Glass Doors Where provided be sure they are open while a fire is burning intensely. They can be closed when the fi…

Recycling: Still Making a Difference

We all know recycling is a smart idea. But are we participating enough to have a significant impact on reducing manufacturing pollutants and saving energy? Successful recycling, in the simplest terms, is a loop —one that begins and ends with you. When we don't participate in recycling programs unnecessary waste is added to our landfills, and landfills are not designed to decompose trash — only to bury it. Constantly adding to our landfills means we constantly need more of them. Because no one wants one near their home, trash will need to be hauled greater distances"¦and that means increased g…

Floor Covering Cleaning & Maintenance

Carpet Vacuuming In order to extend the life and beauty of your carpet it is necessary to vacuum regularly. In high traffic areas this could be as much as once a day. Vacuuming not only keeps the carpet clean, but helps to keep the nap in an upright position. Spills Spills should be dabbed up and spot cleaned immediately. Be sure to color test your spot cleaner in a non visible place, i.e. a closet, first. Carpets should be cleaned professionally regularly, i.e. annually. Resilient Flooring No Wax The resilient flooring in your home is the no wax type. This means the floor is coated with a clear finish t…

Keep Your Home & Property Secure While Out Of Town

A holiday vacation, a weekend away from home, or a business trip should be a pleasant experience for you and your family, and often, our fears can get the best of us and give us cause for concern when in fact there are no reasons for being alarmed. However, being safe and secure at all times is not just something that one should do when going out of town, but rather, something that should be incorporated into one's daily routine. By being aware of your surroundings and the world around you and your loved ones, small steps can add up to providing year-round peace of mind. Create A Vacation Checklist And Ke…

Foundation Maintenance

Proper maintenance of your home's foundation and supporting soils is critical in the prevention of foundation failure. Each Design Tech home is supported by a monolithic slab-on-grade foundation. Slab-on—grade foundations are 100% dependent on the underlying soils for support. Although every Design Tech home foundation has been professionally engineered for the type of soil in your area, like most other components of the home, it requires maintenance. Your foundation, with proper care, was designed to support the home throughout its functional life. Most areas of Texas have soils that contain variou…

Ten Tips to Sell Your Home

You may think your house is perfect just the way it is, but a prospective buyer may not see it that way. To give your home "curb appeal" and make it more attractive to buyers, there are some tasks you should see to before you place that "For Sale" sign in your front yard. Many of these suggestions are simple, common-sense items; others will require some time and investment. But you'll reap the rewards when a buyer walks into your house and exclaims, "This is the home I've been waiting for!" If your home needs to be painted, this is the time to do it. The interior paint job should be fresh and clean…