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La w Ga n & Tip rden s
A Special Section to The Lebanon Democrat Mt. Juliet News and The Hartsville Vidette
Construction Quick Tip ...........................................................................2 Improving home efficiency......................................................................3 Projects that might require building permits ...........................................3 Must have tools ........................................................................................4 Is it time to add a half bath .....................................................................5 Patio clean-up for seasonal entertaining ..................................................5 Fence etiquette .........................................................................................8 Building a deck ........................................................................................9 Plywood vs. MDF ....................................................................................9 Shopping off season for home improvements ......................................10 Making a healthier home .......................................................................11 Spray foam insulation combats mold ....................................................11
Building a home includes dreams of a house that might last for centuries -- or at the very least, a soaring return on the investment. So with a choice in materials when building from scratch, take note that the advanced technology starts with concrete walls. The inefficiency of wood framing is yesterday’s choice. Builders of homes and commercial buildings now champion the use of pre-assembled, interlocking concrete forms. Each panel consists of two layers of polystyrene, steel reinforced and filled with concrete. With this system, industry leader Nudura points to important energy savings -- as well as significant environmental and human health benefits. Wood walls, for example, are subject to rot and mould irritation over time. The wood frame method is also subject to thermal bridging, where outside cold seeps in to cause uncomfortable cold spots, drafts, and mustiness. On the other hand, the Nudura concrete walls have shown to deliver energy savings of up to 70 percent and deliver a building envelope up to three times more sound resistant, four times more fire re-
Construction Quick Tip: Post-modern homes choose walls with concrete
sistant, and nine times stronger. Floor and ceiling construction is now advanced too. More information is available online at www.nudura.com.
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BURDINE SUPPLY INC.
PLUMBING & ELECTRICAL SUPPLIES
6966 LEBANON ROAD MT. JULIET, TN 1/4 mile West of 109
330 Broadway • Hartsville, Tennessee 37074 615-374-2986 • www.tcemc.org
Phone (615)453-9222 Fax (615)453-9272
Owner: Vincent Lenning
MIKE WALLS CONSTRUCTION, INC. 812-1460
2 • Spring Home Improvement 2012
• Professional General Contractor Designs • Apporved By All Homeowners Associations • All American Employees
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The top three innovations to improve home efficiency
Our homes are a great measuring stick of how far we’ve progressed in the past 20 years, especially when it comes to their efficiency in terms of saving us energy and money. Here are the top three innovative technologies that can improve the efficiency of our homes: Home Automation * It wasn’t that long ago that an automated home was a focus of science fiction. Today, adding the convenience and control of our indoor climate, lighting, electronic media and home security is increasingly affordable and accessible through home PCs, smart phone and tablet applications. With home monitoring systems, you can track energy and water usage in real time, spot key sources of energy loss and make immediate adjustments. Insulation * If your home is more than 10 years old, there’s a good chance it has fiberglass or cellulose insulation behind its walls. While these were once the insulations of choice, there are many holes in these technologies. Since they are difficult to install perfectly and can sag or settle over time, they can leave gaps and seams. It’s like leaving a window open 24 hours a day Advances in home automation, insulation and appliances have be- in the freezing come increasingly affordable and accessible to more homeowners, cold. * Experts
saving them energy and money.
Projects that might require a building permit
All too many homeowners have experienced the joy of completing a home improvement project only to learn upon completion that the project is not in adherence with local laws. That realization, while heartbreaking, is often the result of a homeowner’s failure to secure a building permit prior to starting the project. Homeowners who secure a permit before the onset of a project will know what they can and can’t do and can rest easy knowing that an approved plan complies with engineering principles and local laws. Another disadvantage to forgoing the permit process is the potential perils such a decision cause when homeowners want to sell their homes. Projects completed without a permit might hurt a home’s resale value, and such projects are not often covered by homeowner’s insurance policies, meaning damage to areas of the home where an illegal project was conducted won’t be covered. While homeowners should always check with their local municipality before starting a project, it might help to know the following are a few of the many home improvement projects that typically require a permit before they can go forward. * Above-ground pool * Attached storage shed * Awnings * Carports * Deck installation * Demolition project, interior or exterior * Fireplace addition * Garage conversion * Handicap ramp * Handicap restroom * In-ground pool * Patio enclosure * Patio installation * Partition wall installation * Porch * Retaining walls * Roof change (i.e., flat roof to sloped roof) * Roof replacement * Room addition * Room remodel * Siding * Sliding glass door (if area is increased) * Skylight * Spa or hot tub installation * Windows, new or replacement (if area is increased)
remind us that insulation advancements (like those from leading innovator Icynene) have brought us spray foam insulation options that won’t settle, sag or leave any gaps. Spray foam acts as an air barrier and can deliver up to 50 percent energy savings over older insulation options, while making our homes healthier, quieter and more comfortable. You can compare insulation options at www.icynene.com. Appliances and HVAC * Appliances and heating/cooling systems are essential in American homes -and not surprisingly, they are constantly undergoing improvements. New energy-efficient refrigerators use less than half the energy of models that are 12 years old and use 75 percent less energy than those produced in the late 1970s (Source: National Resources Defense Council). * If you have a conventional natural-draft furnace made before 1992, it might only operate between 55 to 78 percent efficiency. Upgrading to a new induced-draft condensing furnace can increase efficiency to above 90 percent as a result of more efficient heat exchangers and electronic ignition (Source: Mother Earth News).
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Spring Home Improvement 2012 • 3
Must-Have Tools For the Outdoor Handyman (or Woman)
Spring has sprung for most areas of the country and the average homeowner’s “honey-do” list likely has its share of outdoor landscaping tasks that need to be tackled. The right tools can make easier work of outdoor chores. A report from the Associated Landscape Contractors of America titled “Economic Benefits of Landscape” states that landscaping can add as much as 14 percent to the resale value of a building and speed its sale by as much as 6 weeks. Homeowners looking to sell their home or just improve its market value will want to consider landscaping a viable investment. A March 2003 article in Smart Money noted that homeowners can expect to earn back 150 percent or more of their landscape investment through the value it brings to a property. Whatever the landscaping project, the right tools will make any task that much easier. There are certain items every homeowner should have in his or her gardening arsenal. * Soil cultivator: A multi-pronged tool that breaks up clods of soil and grass to provide easier planting. * Various garden hoes: Hoes can be used for breaking up soil, weeding, cultivating, aerating, and many other purposes. * Spading fork: Another tool that loosens soil with straight tines that dig through dense soil. * Shovel: A multipurpose shovel can dig through dirt, gravel and the like. * Rake: A steelpronged rake will till soil and spread out mulch and other organic matter in planting beds. A flexible rake is good for collecting leaves and thatch. * Edger: Available as manual or gas powered, an edger gives planting beds and the edges of lawns a clean look. * String trimmer: Weeds can easily be trimmed with a string trimmer that can work around bushes and other hard-to-reach areas. * Gloves: Avoid blisters and insect bites with durable gloves that protect the hands. * Lawn mower: To maintain a healthy lawn it will have to be trimmed to the correct height. A manual or powered lawn mower is the essential landscaper’s tool. * Collection bags/bins: To properly dispose of organic matter like leaves and branches, it pays to have recyclable or reusable bags on hand for transporting waste. * Hoses: Drip irrigation hoses can deliver water right to plants’ roots where they need it most. A regular nozzle-powered hose can be used for cleaning and misting plants and surrounding hardscapes. * Compost bin: “Black gold” is the ideal landscaping supplement. By creating compost from discarded food, a homeowner can generate the prime fertilizer needed to keep plants healthy. * Wheelbarrow: Transporting gravel, rocks, mulch, shrubbery, and many other garden essentials is made easier with the help of a wheelbarrow or a garden cart. * Branch pruner: A durable branch trimmer/pruner can cut through thick or thin branches and keep landscape
Landscaping can add value to a home. The right tools make most jobs easier.
items tidy. Pruning also helps promote growth of many flowers and shrubs. * Overhead pruner: Errant branches in hard-to-reach areas can be trimmed with an overhead pruner with an extendable
arm. Depending on specific interests, homeowners can stock up on trowels, bulb planters, chain saws and other items that will get jobs done around the exterior of the home.
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4 • Spring Home Improvement 2012
Is it time to add a half-bathroom to your house?
When it comes to renovating a home, homeowners expect to spend money. No home renovation or home improvement project is free, but some are less costly than others. The addition of a halfbathroom is a popular project among homeowners, and it won’t necessarily break the bank. If converting existing floor space into a half-bathroom, such a renovation can cost as little as a few thousand dollars, making the addition of a powder room one of the few home improvement projects where the value added to the home exceeds the cost of the renovation. Before deciding to add a half-bathroom, it helps to consider some of the pros and cons of the project. Pros * Convenience: A half-bathroom is often added on the home’s main floor or in the basement or attic. This makes it more convenient for guests to use the restroom during a dinner party or when coming over to watch the big game in a basement home-theater area. * Problem-free: Half-bathrooms are smaller because they don’t have a shower or bathtub. That means common bathroom problems like mold and mildew are not as big a concern as they are for full bathrooms. * More choices: Because mold and mildew aren’t likely to present a problem in a half-bathroom, homeowners have more options at their disposal when choosing floors and countertops. Cons * Space: As their name implies, half-bathrooms are much smaller than full bathrooms. As a result, they tend to feel cramped. * Value: Though an inexpensive half-bathroom addition might recoup its value and then some at resale, the project won’t add as much resale value to a home as a full bathroom addition might. * Loss of storage: If storage around the house is sparse, homeowners might be better off keeping the area designated for the halfbathroom as a storage closet instead of a bathroom. Once the pros and cons have been weighed, homeowners who want to go forward with the project should then check with their local municipality to ensure the codes and requirements won’t restrict their project. Size or window restrictions might curtail the project or limit what homeowners can do, which might change their minds on the project altogether. The addition of a half-bathroom often makes practical and financial sense. But before making any addition, homeowners must weight the pros and cons to make the best decision possible.
Patio clean-up for seasonal entertaining
Outdoor entertaining is a primary component of the warm-weather season. Individuals flock to their backyard patios and decks to barbecue or simply soak up a little sun. Over the course of the fall and winter your patio may have experienced some wear and tear. Or if the patio is several years old, it may need some maintenance to improve its appearance for the new season. Maintenance often depends on the material used. Before starting, figure out what your patio needs and stock up on the supplies. Many patios are poured concrete, and a simple pressure-washing could be all that’s needed to revive the look. Pressure washers can be rented or purchased. If there are cracks or chips in the patio, some minor patchwork may be able to fix unsightly problems. There are fastdry patching kits. If the patio is especially damaged, it may be in your best interest to simply replace the patio or cover it with a different material, like wood decking. Some patios are constructed from paving stones. Pavers are usually installed atop a thin layer of sand and then more sand is brushed into the seams between the pavers to set them in place. Over time, the sand may become dislodged causing the pavers to wobble or even grow uneven. Taking the time to brush new sand over a paver patio can keep the stones stable. Because pavers are not a solid surface, weeds can grow in between the stones. Hand weeding and the application of a weed-killing product can help with keeping weeds at bay and from being unsightly. This year, maybe it’s not about refreshing the patio but installing one instead. Although many homeowners choose to make the installation of a patio a do-it-yourself project with fine results, if you have a large yard or an intricate design, you may want to price out masons. These contractors could have relationships with suppliers of concrete and patio pavers, which could save on the cost of materials for the job. Plus you will have the benefit of knowing the work was done correctly. Now is also the time to wash the cushions to your patio set to enhance your patio decor. Do so on a sunny, warm day to allow the cushions to dry adequately so they won’t develop mildew or mold staining and odor. If the cushions look dated or beyond repair, this season could be a good time to head to the store and purchase a new set. Nothing refreshes a patio more than bright colors and attractive accessories. While new planters filled with flowers could do the trick, coordinate patio colors with new upholstery for outdoor furniture, throw pillows and a new patio umbrella to complete the look.
The spring season is the time to refresh the patio by cleaning and updating furniture.
“Big or small we can make them fall”
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615-478-7766 Danny Williams
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Keep usable materials out of the landfill. Help the ReStore raise funds to build Habitat homes.
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Spring Home Improvement 2012 • 5
We’ve Got You Covered
B & H Painting
Interior & Exterior 449-7640 or 424-0133 Free Estimates
H & N Construction
Metal Roofs • Sun Rooms Decks • Remodeling Additions • Pole Barns And More
These quality businesses can help you get your spring home improvement jobs done! Call them today!
Professional House Cleaning Service
Roofing • Siding • Gutters Windows • Decks • Floors
Complete Lawn Maintenance Architectural Design & Installation Licensed - Insured Residential - Commerical 196 Sugar Flat Rd. Lebanon, TN 37087
General Home Maintenance
Licensed and Bonded Moving In/Out • Spring/Fall Windows/Gutters • New Construction Clean Up Carpets/Wood Floors • Small Offices Holly Kemp 615-598-8714 Matthew Kemp 615-598-8715
Licensed • Bonded • Insured
714-3183 or 754-7504
THE ROOF TECH
Roofing & Repair Specialist Family Owned & Operated
Senior Discounts • Free Estimates Reasonable Rates • References Available David Estes: (615) 449-3563 Office: (615) 547-7812
Asphalt Paving & Sealcoating
Free Estimates Work Guaranteed
Call Today & Save Ask for J.C. 615-293-2660 or 615-323-1722
6 • Spring Home Improvement 2012
Pete’s Lawn Maintenance
*mowing, trimming & other services *free estimates *no contracts *insured
Don’t replace it... REPAIR IT
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HARTSVILLE CABINET & MILLWORK, INC.
Family Owned • Free Estimates Since 1973
Michael’s Lawn Mower Repair
Lawn Mower repair at your home. Blades sharpened, oil changed, tuneups, deck welding, etc.
Pete @ 686-8219
Circle H Lawn Care
Reasonable Rates / Free Estimates
Bryan Hardaway Cell: 615-477-0899 Home: 615-758-8954
Specializing in: Landscaping, Grass Cutting, Mulching, Brush/Tree Trimming, Aerating, Seeding, Weed & Feed, Spraying & More.
Licensed & Insured
Custom Homes, Additions, Remodeling, Decks. All home improvements and repairs. Free Estimates • Licensed & Insured 615-969-3574
FREE ESTIMATES 615-443-2252 www.heartlandroofing.com
HOLT PAINTING, STAINING & MORE
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Progressive Plumbing LLC
Joe Gregory 506-4403 www.plumbingexpertstn.com
Over 25 Yrs. Experience, Professional Commercial and Residential Plumbing
• Interior & Exterior Painting • Deck Staining • Furniture Refinishing • Minor Landscaping • Light Moving/Hauling “High Quality Results At Very Affordable Rates”
15 Years In Business
JAMES HOLT 615-758-8146
• A cleaning plan adapted to your lifestyle. • Professional, bonded & insured cleaning team. • We bring all the cleaning supplies. • A thorough cleaning every visit. • We guarantee your satisfaction.
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Specializing in log, historic and unique buildings since 1990. Richard Parker 969-7791
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“Quality Work at Affordable Prices” WILSON COUNTY’S MOST TRUSTED ROOFING COMPANY
22 years experience, workmanship warranty. Licensed and Insured
We will clean out your building and take the junk off your hands!
Removal of: Furniture, Appliances, Storm Debris and much more. Call for a Free Estimate 615-681-4040
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Pa i n t i n g
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Paige Belcher Owner
h Fa s G o o d O le
106 Bentley Harris Way [DEALER IMPRINT] Gordonsville, TN 38563 Phone: 615-683-4106 • Fax: 615-683-6981 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Fax: 615-443-1084 2145 Highway 109 N Lebanon, Nt 37090 Paige@WindowWow.com
We are licensed and insured. John Knowles, Owner
Get your kids off the computer and into some good ole fashioned outdoor fun, with a Sterling Pool. Contact us today to find out how we can help design a Sterling Pool that the kids will never want to leave.
Petty Pools, Inc.
Spring Home Improvement 2012 • 7
Call Casey at 615-689-0101
• Seamless Gutter • Vinyl Siding • Gutter Guard Installation • Replacements Windows • Fiber Cement Siding
Over four generations. Want a clean neat high quality job? References available.
Knowles Gutter Service
Fence etiquette prevents disputes with your neighbors
People fortunate enough to own their own plots of land often choose to fence in their pieces of paradise. Fences serve many purposes: to designate property boundaries, keep pets or children contained in a safe environment, corral livestock, offer privacy or add aesthetic appeal. Although installing a fence may seem like the right idea for you, going about it the wrong way may lead to problems among neighbors, particularly if you live where the houses are relatively close to one another. Some homeowners find fences become the final point of contention among disagreeable neighbors or create tension with a neighbor with whom you previously had a good relationship. Being courteous with fence plans is the way to avoid any animosity along the way. There are certain things you must do and should do if you plan to erect a fence. Most people find neighbors appreciate being informed of any decisions you are thinking of making to the property that can affect their views or their adjoining property. Before drawing up fence plans with a contractor, talk to the neighbors on either side of your home and gauge their receptiveness to a fence. At this point, you may want to consider offering to make the fencing project a joint deal to save money should the neighbors decide to install a fence as well. Contractors will often discount if they have several customers doing an installation at the same time. Property owners can save by splitting the costs of the shared walls of the fence where their property lines meet. Explain your case for the fence. Most neighbors are receptive to the idea if they know the reasoning -- especially if the desire for a fence is not to keep them at bay. It’s hard to protest a fence that is a safety precaution for children. If your neighbor already has a fence, you must ask whether you can connect your fence panels into the support post on your shared side. Once you notify your neighbors as a courtesy, there are certain steps to take that will prevent any legal disputes down the road. Even the most easy-going neighbor could grow aggravated if the fence is put up carelessly or ends up partially on his property. The best way to prevent this is to apply for a new, professional property survey and have property lines indicated with paint or wood markers. Each town or
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city has different regulations with regard to fencing, so it is important to learn the ropes or hire a contractor who is familiar with the rules. It might be illegal to install fences directly on the property line. The law might require the fence be installed a few inches inward. There also may be rules about how high fences can be in the front of the home, sides and back. Corner lot properties may have added regulations depending on whether the fence could prove a visual obstruction to drivers. If you live in a planned community, or one with a homeowners’ association, it is your job to find out the guidelines for any home improvements. The HOA may dictate the style, size and maintenance of the fence or may not allow a fence at all. Once all the details are checked, you may have to apply for a fence permit. This way
the construction of the fence and finished product will meet safety standards, and the area in which you live can provide consistent quality control. If the fence is installed by code, there is little chance it will have to be torn down or changed in the near future. Also, doing it by the book means that a neighbor can be unhappy about a fence but not have legal recourse to ask you to remove it. As an added form of courtesy, it is proper fence etiquette to put the “good” side of the fence facing the neighbors’ yards. That means the side of the fence that doesn’t show the support panels and posts. Remember, it is your fence so you are also responsible for all maintenance of the fence -- on all sides. Just because your neighbor also will be benefitting from your fence, doesn’t mean he will have to care for it.
Did you know?
Women make up a fast-growing segment of the home improvement market. According to research by Sears, Roebuck & Co. and Investor’s Business Daily, 53 percent of married women are responsible for basic household maintenance and repair. Women also comprise 50 percent of all residential buyers at major home improvement stores and generally spend more than men when shopping. Women also make 85 percent of all remodeling decisions around the home. As a result, more retailers cater to female shoppers in their home improvement promotions.
Air Conditioning • Heating • Refrigeration MAJOR APPLIANCE REPAIR • SALES SERVICE • INSTALLATIONS
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8 • Spring Home Improvement 2012
Things to know before building a deck
Statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau Housing Survey indicate that homeowners annually spend billions of dollars improving outdoor living areas. One of the most popular ways to do just that is to add a deck to a home. Decks are beneficial in many ways. Grillmasters love decks because they make the perfect place to set up a grill and a table and cook for family and friends. Those who simply love being outdoors find decks the perfect place to relax and soak up some sun or idle away the evening hours. But homeowners who want to build a deck should know a few things before that process begins. * Permits are necessary. Unless the deck is going to be especially small, you will likely need a permit to build it. Before buying any materials or consulting any contractors, make certain you know which permits you need and how to get them. If the proper permits are not secured before the project begins, you might have to tear down the whole project and start all over again. * Decks don’t have to go on the back of the house. If the back of your house sits in the blazing sun all day, then it’s probably best to build the deck elsewhere, and that’s perfectly alright. So long as the property and permits allow, decks can be built on the side of a home as well, and putting a deck on the side might be more comfortable. * Decks don’t have to be made of wood. It’s easy to assume all decks are made of plain wood. However, decks can be made out of a wide variety of materials, natural or synthetic. Pressure treated wood is perhaps the most popular material for decking because it’s not very expensive. But manmade materials that are a mixture of recycled plastic and wood bits or sawdust are also popular because they require no maintenance. But homeowners should know that manmade materials can get hot in the sun, which will require those enjoying the deck to wear shoes. * Expect to do some digging. If you’re going to build your own deck, expect to do some serious digging. Local building codes will dictate how deep you will need to dig for the pier footings, which support the deck’s weight. Just how deep you’ll dig depends on your climate’s specific frost line, but it’s safe to assume you’ll get a workout in when digging. * The deck can have multiple levels. Though many people associate decks with one level, it’s possible to have a multi-level deck if you simply don’t have enough room to build a deck that will be big enough to meet all of your needs. A multi-level deck can break up those long flights of stairs while ensuring you will always have somewhere to go to escape the sun on a hot day. * You will want to protect the deck. Decks are a costly investment, and you will want to protect that inproduct available. Then the term MDF, or medium-density fiberboard, started making its way onto home-improvement shows and among do-it-yourselfers, making it a popular material in recent years. Still, many people do not know the differences between these types of wood products. Plywood is constructed by gluing several layers of thin wood veneers between two pieces of wood to create a solid sheet. Experts say there is an odd number of veneer layers, and each one is attached at a right angle to the one below to add strength to the
vestment. If you’re building a wood deck, keep in mind the sun will beat down on the deck for most of the year. You can protect the deck by painting it. Paint provides sunscreen for the deck, stopping the sun from breaking down the material. Once you’ve finished painting, apply sealant, whether it’s oil- or water-based. * Don’t forget fasteners. Fasteners will hide the screws for aesthetic appeal. But not all woods and fasteners are the right fit, as plywood. There may be knots or irregularities in the plywood because it is made of actual slices of wood. It comes in a variety of strengths, depending on the thickness of the plywood. Thickness can vary by sheet depending on the manufacturer, so each sheet may not be consistent. MDF is formed with wood fibers or shavings mixed with glue or resin. Under heat or pressure, the MDF is made into a solid material. Because MDF is not made from slices of wood to form veneers, it will not have the traditional graining or knots associated with wood. This can be an advantage or disadvantage depending on how it is ultimately used. MDF is often easy to cut,
certain woods are only compatible with certain fasteners. Find out which fasteners make the right fit ahead of time. Because fasteners conceal the screws, they also make it possible to go barefoot on the deck. A deck makes a great addition to many homes, but homeowners should learn as much as possible about decks and what goes into building them before making any decking decisions. drill and manipulate because users will not have to work around grain or knots. But users should be careful to drill pilot holes before attaching MDF because it can split. Due to machine creation, MDF is generally uniform in thickness, which makes it consistent for many uses. It is important to note that sanding and cutting of MDF can cause the release of formaldehyde. Safety goggles and a mask are a must when using this product. Plywood is more readily used for walls, ceilings and subfloors because of its strength. MDF is widely relied on for building cabinets, crafts, shelving and trimwork.
Plywood and MDF: What’s the difference?
For decades plywood was the go-to inexpensive wood of choice for many home-repair projects. In fact, it was actually the first manufactured wood
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Spring Home Improvement 2012 • 9
Shop off-season for major improvements
An often overlooked side-effect of the recession is that many people cannot afford to move and have decided to stick with the home they have and make desired improvements. Thanks to off-season discounts, some months of the year may be better than others for renovations. The home improvement industry is not much different than any other. When demand is high, prices are generally at their peak. When demand is low, prices are lowered to entice shoppers to buy. Right now, many homeowners may be thinking of certain improvements, such as the installation of a pool or deck, or even replacing an air conditioning system in advance of the warm weather. But it could be financially savvy to wait until the warm weather is gone to do so. Many pool companies and stores discount their inventory considerably after September. That’s because this time of year in most of the country is when the weather starts to change and people are less likely to think about a dip in the pool. With the arrival of the new school year, many others are focusing less on pool fun and more on carpools and sporting events. Furthermore, in an effort to capitalize on both the summer and winter seasons, many pool stores double as Christmas tree and accessory outlets come the colder months. That means they’ll need to clear out their showrooms and stock areas of pools prior to delivery of Christmas merchandise. You may land a considerable discount on the pool package. Furthermore, if you have room in a garage or shed to store the pool equipment and assembled materials, you can wait until the next season to hire an installer to set up the pool when you desire. As you are thinking about turning down the thermostat and enjoying a blast of cool air-conditioning, it might be wise to think about the performance of your furnace, too. While HVAC professionals and home improvement chains could be charging top dollar for a new air conditioning system, they may offer discounts on furnaces because they’re simply not in demand this time of year. If you find an affordable furnace, store the furnace until the time is right to have it installed. The holiday season tends to be a slow time for home-improvement contractors simply because most homeowners are thinking more about shopping and entertaining than knock-down, tear-out jobs. Waiting until the end of the year for some major renovations could be advantageous. The spring and summer are prime times for outdoor entertaining, so the addition of decks or elaborate landscaping may come at an elevated price. However, once autumn arrives, the same services may be much cheaper, depending on the job and if the contractor can secure materials at a discounted price. If you can hold off on that new deck or patio until after September, it may be in your best interest. However, if a winter installation is in your design, you may find yourself actually paying more in labor costs if inclement weather delays the installation. Here are some other ways to save off-season. * Explore wintertime reductions on air conditioning systems. * New appliance models released could mean year-end reductions on that model year. * Purchase bulk topsoil and other landscaping materials in the winter when this industry is slow. * Many pests enter a dormancy during the winter, so exterminators may discount for termite reduction during the winter and early spring. * Fireplace installation or chimney masonry work could be discounted during the summer months. * The spring season is an ideal time for roofing projects, although some contractors will work in the winter, too. Roofing companies are often tied up during the summer months and may ask for premium charges. Keep in mind that summer is a prime time for any and all improvements. Beat the prices and the wait time by shopping off-season for your renovations.
SPRING into ACTION
Spring is right around the corner and soon you’ll be splashing around in your pool again. Are you ready? Stop by and stock up on premium pool care products from BioGuard® to properly open and maintain your pool the quick and easy way. Choose from convenient, easy-to-use pool care systems or a host of individual products and accessories to get that sparkling clear pool water you love. Visit us today for expert advice and all the BioGuard® products you need splash into spring! POOL SCHOOL POOL SCHOOL TUES, APRIL 10th, 7 Tuesday, April 10th,PM RSVP APPRECIATED BUT NOT REQUIRED at 7pm RSVP appreciated LEBANON CHEMICAL CO/THE POOL’S EDGE but not required.
It’s that time!
533 W BADDOUR PKWY LEBANON, TN 37087 615-444-1787
POOL SCHOOL TUES, APRIL 10th, 7 PM RSVP APPRECIATED BUT NOT REQUIRED
10 • Spring Home Improvement 2012
LEBANON CHEMICAL COMPANY
533 W BADDOUR PKWY LEBANON LEBANON, TN 37087
Simple means to making a home healthier
With the spring season finally upon us, the annual rite of passage that is spring cleaning has arrived as well. For homeowners that means it’s time to stop resting on their laurels and start cleaning house. But cleaning house doesn’t only involve throwing away a season’s worth of magazines and donating clothing that no longer fits. Spring cleaning also involves improving a home’s overall environment. That’s especially true for the health- and environmentally-conscious homeowner. One way to clean a home while making it healthier and benefitting the environment is to rid the home of chemical contaminants that can be harmful to both your personal health and the air you’re breathing. Many of these contaminants are not associated with traditional spring cleaning but can have as big an impact as anything you do around the house this season. * Don’t allow smoking indoors. Nearly everyone knows of the potentially harmful physical side effects of smoking cigarettes. Cigarette smoke contains more than 4,000 chemicals, including several dozen that are known carcinogens, including formaldehyde, ammonia, hydrogen cyanide, and arsenic, among others. While it’s ideal to avoid smoking entirely, a good place to start is to stop allowing both guests of the home and residents to smoke indoors. This will also make a home more enjoyable for those who don’t smoke, as they likely have an aversion to the smell of cigarettes and will welcome that smell’s banishment to the home’s exterior. * Stop burning candles inside the home. While aromatic candles have grown in popularity thanks in large part to the benefits they provide to a home’s ambience, it’s also important to remember the harmful byproducts of combustion. Those include carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, soot, and VOCs (volatile organic compounds), which can be toxic. So the next time you consider the aesthetic appeal of a candle, don’t forget its potential to release harmful emissions every time you light it up. * Pay closer attention to what you’re doing in the home. Oftentimes, our homes are our havens. What we do in our homes is certainly our business, but it can also be problematic. Something as innocent as wearing slippers or going shoeless when taking out the trash can track dust and other contaminants into a home. When attempting to clear a home of potentially harmful chemical contaminants, something as simple as what’s on your feet can have a meaningful impact. * Avoid overdoing it with household supplies. While buying in bulk can help save money, it can also be harmful depending on what you’re buying. For instance, storing excess paint, solvents and other hazardous chemicals can lead to harmful emissions if not sealed properly or if they leak. To avoid such risks, simply purchase what you need when you need it and avoid storing too many chemical products in the home, be it inside or in the garage. * Open the windows when cleaning. There likely is not a single person who enjoys the smell of household cleaning products. However, many people often forget to open the windows or turn fans on when using chemically-based household clean- While candles might add some aesthetic appeal to a home’s interior, combustion also produces several ers. While these products no doubt do a potentially harmful side effects. fantastic job cleaning a home, they might also be emitting harmful toxins into the air. If you must use chemically-based cleaners, open the windows and use fans when cleaning to avoid that familiar odor from overtaking the home and potentially emitting harmful chemicals into the air.
Spray foam insulation combats mold
If you worry about mold in your home and are trying to find solutions, you can take one simple step to help prevent it from happening. Mold is commonly found in houses that have poor wall insulation. As moisture builds up, the interior of the walls can slowly rot. This gives off a foul smell and reduces the overall stability and quality of a property. You may need to completely strip your walls to effectively repair them. Such a repair can be expensive, but in order to prevent this situation from occurring, you can choose an alternate kind of insulation for your home. Spray foam insulation, like Icynene, is a good choice, especially for preventing mold. Unlike other insulation, spray foam protects your walls against moisture by forming an air barrier. Prevention of mold, dust, dust mites and other common airborne irritants will improve the quality of the air in your home and ultimately the investment value of your house. More information on this topic is available online at icynene.com.
Spring Home Improvement 2012 • 11
of Mt. Juliet
4110 N. Mt. Juliet Rd. Mt. Juliet, TN 37122
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