Home Improvement

The Art of Gutter Cleaning

The gutters on your home are starting to overflow so it’s time to clean the gutters on your home. Many homeowners do this project each year to properly maintain their homes. What you may not realize is that most gutter systems should be cleaned 3-4 times a year with each season. You may be wondering why should I clean out my gutters so often? The reason is each season trees go through various cycles that can clog up your gutters.

In spring, most trees drop seedlings and dead twigs. Spring is also the best time to inspect your gutters for any damages that may have occurred during the winter snow.

In summer, trees lose leaves from heavy storms and high winds. In early fall, you should remove leaves that have fallen early to keep your gutters flowing freely. At the end of fall or early winter, you want to make sure everything has been properly cleared from the gutter system to help prevent ice dams or buildup of ice in your gutters. The extra weight of frozen water in your gutters can easily cause them to pull away from the fascia and in many cases, fall off the house. Improper gutter maintenance will lead to clogged or damaged gutters and can cause thousands of dollars in damage to your homes foundation, exterior trim and basements.

To clean your gutters properly, rent a sturdy ladder and get your a neighbor to give you a hand. Ladders can be rented from most local rental centers for as little as $40.00 a day. When using ladders, make sure you stay away from power lines, trees and windows. It’s a good idea to use a ladder stabilizer to make sure the ladder doesn’t crush your gutters or slip while your doing the cleaning. Ladder stabilizers can be purchased at most hardware stores for about $30.00. Remember your safety is more important than clean gutters, so make sure you get someone to help you. Thousands of people die each year from falls and electrocution while working on ladders.

If you have gutter screens or gutter guards, make sure that they aren’t damaged or clogged with leaves and branches. They won’t help protect the gutters if the water can’t get into them properly and the water may just flow over them making them useless, even if the gutters are clean! Carefully lift the guards to avoid damaging them and remove any leaves or debris under them and then reinstall them properly. You should run water over them to make sure they are working properly. Check your downspouts to see if they have screens at the top and clear them as well. If necessary, use a hose to clear any heavily clogged downspouts and make sure you replace any damaged gutter or downspout screens. While cleaning your gutters, inspect them to make sure the fasteners are properly secured. This can usually be done with a hammer, or in some cases a screwdriver.

You may find that over time, the spikes that hold the aluminum to the fascia board have loosened. Either drive the loose spikes back into place, or replace them with longer ones for improved support. When gutters are loose, the pitch is changed and the water will overflow at low areas. Since you have help from your neighbor, this is also the perfect time to inspect your roof for missing shingles, cracked vent pipe gaskets or bare nails. Make sure you return the favor and help him or her on their house when you’re done.

If you have any questions about gutter maintenance, gutter guard systems or to hire a professional to clean the gutters on your home, contact Henry’s Housework at 301-353-9287. For more information about gutter cleaning, guard systems or our other services, see our website at . We also offer a newsletter through our website with maintenance tips, reminders and discounts on our services each month.

Henry Bockman

President, Henry’s Housework Inc.

MHIC#65039 Licensed, bonded and insured.

301 353 9287

Home Improvement

Detroit Tree Service

Trees are beautiful, but they’re also valuable assets to your home. They can increase your property value, enhance your home’s curb appeal, and provide a nice area of shade for your lawn during the summer months. Though your tree or trees may have been around for decades or even centuries, you’ll still need to carefully maintain your tree to ensure it continues to benefit your home for as long as you want it.

Detroit Tree Service: Tree Removal
Taking on your own tree removal is a dangerous, unpredictable prospect that should not be undertaken by someone without experience in tree felling. Chainsaws or pickup trucks and ropes can lead to huge accidents even with modestly sized trees. In fact, depending on the size of the tree and local ordinances, there’s a good chance you’ll need to secure a permit to legally remove a tree from your property. Talk to your contractor about whether one is needed, and he or she will take care of the paperwork— one of the side benefits of hiring a professional. Along with the tree removal itself, be sure to clearly communicate your expectations and the details. Will the contractor haul away extraneous branches? Would you prefer the tree is put through a chipper and used for mulch? Is the contractor going to remove/grind the stump, or will it be left? The few complaints we do hear from homeowners about their Detroit tree service is almost always about these details.

Detroit Tree Service: Treatment and Protection
Properly caring for your tree is crucial to protecting the beauty and the investment of private, residential trees. If your tree becomes damaged or contracts a disease, you may be forced to remove it, particularly if it poses a public health hazard. You should periodically check your tree for discoloration, fungal growth, bark deterioration, and anything that looks unusual and suspect. If you do notice something’s amiss, you can probably check the symptoms online or call an arborist to quickly find what, if anything, is wrong. Prompt action can mean the difference between being able to save the tree and having it removed. Many common diseases can be treated by a basic Detroit tree service contractor. Unusual problems or extensive damage may need the services of a tree specialist.


Detroit Tree Trimming
This is generally the single most important thing you can do for your tree and your landscaping. A well-trimmed tree tends to be a healthy tree, encouraging new, strong growth while not overshadowing your home and the rest of your landscaping. Though some trees can be easily trimmed on your own, larger trees may be difficult or impossible to reach without risking personal safety. Plus, professional Detroit tree trimming contractors will know exactly where and how much of your tree should be trimmed. Some homeowners are surprised and a little skeptical when they see how much of their tree is trimmed, but new growth will fill a tree out nicely in only a few weeks.

Cost of Detroit Tree Service
The cost of your tree service depends almost entirely on the size and accessibility of the tree, whether you want tree trimming services or tree removal. The average cost of Detroit tree service is about $500, but we’ve seen projects run as low as $150 and as high as $900. Tree trimming can also be included as part of a lawn service package and, often, at a significantly reduced rate when sign on for year long service. Whether you need a major tree excavation, treatment, or basic maintenance services, ServiceMagic can help you find the best local Detroit tree service professional in your area. We put each and every contractor through a rigorous 10-step screening process and provide you with quality-controlled, online customer ratings and reviews.

Home Improvement

5 Ways to Add Curb Appeal

In a Day
Dress up the front door
1Your home’s front entry is the focal point of its curb appeal. Make a statement by giving your front door a blast of color with paint or by installing a custom wood door. Clean off any dirty spots around the knob, and use metal polish on the door fixtures. Your entry should also reflect the home’s interior, so choose a swag or a wreath that reflects your personal style.
Replace old hardware
2House numbers, the entry door lockset, a wall-mounted mailbox, and an overhead light fixture are all elements that can add style and interest to your home’s exterior. If they’re out of date or dingy, your home may not be conveying the aesthetic you think it is. These elements add the most appeal when they function collectively, rather than as mix-and-match pieces. Oiled-bronze finishes suit traditional homes, while brushed nickel suits more contemporary ones.

Create perfect symmetry
3Symmetry is not only pleasing to the eye, it’s also the simplest to arrange. Symmetrical compositions of light fixtures and front-door accents create welcoming entryways. This door is flanked by two sidelights. The lantern-style sconces not only safely guide visitors to the door, but also coordinate with the door hardware and urns.


Install outdoor lighting
4Low-voltage landscape lighting makes a huge impact on your home’s curb appeal while also providing safety and security. Fixtures can add accent lighting to trees or the house or can illuminate a walking path. If you aren’t able to use lights that require wiring, install solar fixtures (but understand that their light levels are not as bright or as reliable).
Light the Night with a Low-Voltage System

Create an instant garden
5Container gardens add a welcoming feel and colorful appeal to any home exterior — quickly and affordably. You can buy ready-made containers from garden centers or create your own with your favorite plants. For most landscapes, a staggered, asymmetrical arrangement works best to create a dynamic setting.
Great Container Gardens


Home Improvement

5 Simple Kitchen Remodels


Along with getting a great return on your investment, making the space work for your needs is important when considering a kitchen remodel. The most beautiful kitchen will only create stress for a homeowner if it isn’t designed properly. Consider these tips for a kitchen remodel that will simplify your daily routines.

Probably the busiest room in the house, a kitchen can serve a multitude of functions these days: cooking, eating, entertaining, and family gathering place.

1. Remodel by the work triangle.
Designers have been using the kitchen work triangle to create efficient kitchens for many decades. The work triangle refers to the arrangement of the three basic work areas: the refrigerator, sink, and stove. You don’t want these to be too far apart or you will spend a good deal of time running back and forth. Click this link to read more about work triangles.

2. Consolidate kitchen contents with a pantry.
Walk-in pantries have become very popular as they allow a homeowner to quickly take in the kitchen’s contents without having to search through the cupboards. If you’re tight on space a pull-out pantry can be installed into areas as small as a few inches wide. A kitchen pantry is a great way to keep the kitchen traffic localized to one area, so that you can cook without interruption.

3. Don’t waste space.
Install cabinets that go all the way up to the ceiling add baskets and shelving inside to maximize storage space. Add a hanging rack for pots and pans to free up some cabinet space.

4. Let appliances do some of the dirty work.
A dishwasher with a third rack can cut down on the number of times you have to load that dishwasher. Self-cleaning ovens are everywhere today. If you are in the market for energy efficient appliances, consider a dishwasher or even a refrigerator with the Energy Star rating. Click this link to read more about Energy Star Appliances.

5. Create areas for your kids.
A couple of stools at the kitchen counter create an easy, informal place for kids to eat. Also, consider keeping your kids’ snacks and beverages on lower shelves where they can easily access them.

Home Improvement

How to Decorate Home Ahead of Lunar New Year

Exactly 2013 dated February 10 ethnic Chinese will celebrate the Lunar New Year. Various preparations have been done, such as cleaning the house, statue, temple, buy clothes, knick-knacks, and so forth. When welcoming the Chinese New Year, most people of Chinese descent would surely happily welcomed. One way is done to welcome the Chinese New Year is to decorate the house with typical Chinese New Year trinkets. Then, if you’ve done? If not, then there are some tips that you can follow to enhance your home. Reported, here’s how to decorate the house before the Lunar New Year:

1. Decorate with ornaments of gold and red shades of red and gold color is usually a distinctive color while celebrating the Chinese New Year as a symbol of good luck and fortune. To that end, decorate your home with shades of red and gold ornaments. Ranging from tablecloths, handkerchiefs, curtains, rugs, to the clothes you wear.

2. Hanging lanterns To make your home more festive, you could hang a lantern at home perkarangan or side entrance. If necessary, lanterns decorate with ribbon fringe, glitter, and shiny ornaments that added vibrant atmosphere of the house. For Chinese people, the red lanterns showing the symbol of happiness. preparations to welcome the Lunar CiriCara: How to Decorate Home Ahead of Lunar

3. Add decorations according zodiac year Do not forget to add decorations fit your zodiac year. For example, in 2013 it bershio water snakes. Reportedly, this year was a good year because of the many blessings that flow like water. For that, you can add a picture trinkets water snakes around the house.

4. Add Interest To further enhance your home, you can put the peach blossoms for luck or chrysanthemum flowers to prolong life.

5. Making ‘money tree’ money tree to be one thing typical Chinese New Year celebrations. You can wear a tree costume and add some chocolate coins and angpao at the ends of branches by using threads. By making the money tree, your house more lively atmosphere during the celebration of the Lunar New Year later.

6. Put a red and gold candles Decorate the center of the dining table with candles in red and gold. In addition, and also a variety of foods typical of lunar, like tangerines, candied fruit, chocolate gold coins, cookie baskets, and so forth. Decorate or enhance your home with trinkets or objects typical of the Lunar must be done by most people of Chinese descent. For that, there’s no harm in trying the tips above to be more lively atmosphere of the house to welcome the Lunar New Year.

Home Improvement

Fireplace Styles and Design Ideas

Add an element of warmth and a focal point to any room with a fireplace. Picking the right design, materials, and mantel will ensure your fireplace commands attention while complementing the space.

Finding the Perfect Fireplace
1In any room, a fireplace stands out as a focal point. Taking that into account, it¿s important to plan properly so your fireplace complements the space and existing furnishings. Choose the design, materials, and mantel carefully so they command attention but don¿t look out of place.




Mix and Match
2A built-in fireplace gives you the freedom to create whatever kind of look you want with the mantel. Search for a freestanding mantel with vintage charm for a unique look. As shown here, the dimensions dont have to match perfectly. The higher mantel adds an element of interest to the room.



3Classic Good Looks
With a clean, classic mantel, this fireplace exudes casual elegance. Brick adds texture, but the light color helps maintain the clean look. A mirror above the mantel reflects light and adds to the open and airy feel of the room.

Home Improvement

San Diego Garage Flooring


Garages, though usually not the most glamorous part of a home, still deserve a bit of attention every now and again. Sadly, while other areas of the house are in many cases constantly primped and polished, aside from an occasional sweep, many garages are left neglected. There is no reason, however, why a garage can’t be made into an attractive and enjoyable space. With the right materials, and a little organization, your garage can truly become a place you’ll want to show off.

One part of this space that can generally use a bit of a facelift is the garage flooring. San Diego residents looking to spruce up the appearance of their dull, concrete garage floor will find that there are several excellent options out there. In most cases, a great garage floor is available for every situation, and even the most discriminating tastes.

Options for Garage Flooring in San Diego
The most direct route to change the appearance of San Diego garage flooring is to paint it. This, however, is often not the best option. In colder, wetter areas, rain, snow, slush, cinders, and rock salt can eat away a layer of paint in a season; though these conditions aren’t generally associated with So Cal, a painted garage floor should still be considered merely a temporary solution.

Commercial auto shops and car dealerships have long known the benefits of epoxy coating for garage flooring. Epoxy forms a tough, durable seal when applied properly. It can stand up to years of abuse, is easy to clean, and will be resistant to many of the liquids that are common in a garage environment. Though you can buy do-it-yourself epoxy coat kits, the material is a bit tricky. Hiring a professional crew should ensure that your new floor will look great and function well for years to come.

Rubber tiles or mats are another option for brightening up your garage floor. Far less difficult to install than epoxy, many homeowners will be able to do this job themselves. Rubber tiles and mats are available in a wide variety of colors, and those who do a lot of work in their garage will enjoy how comfortable having a resilient material underfoot can be. This material is also stain resistant, and easy to move or replace.

San Diego Garage Flooring for Remodels
It’s quite possible that Southern California has the most agreeable climate in the entire nation. Not only does this make it a great place to enjoy the outdoors, it provides an excellent environment for a vehicle to be left outside as well. Though not the best choice for every homeowner, remodeling a garage is a cost-effective way to increase the amount of living space on your property, without actually having to add on.

Depending on the amount of money you want to spend, you can basically have any kind of flooring installed in your remodeled garage that you could have put into your living room. To keep costs down, and get the longest life possible from your new floor, laminate or engineered flooring might be more appropriate in this space than materials like traditional hardwood.

Prices of San Diego Garage Flooring
To paint your existing garage floor, the cost can easily be less than $100 if you do it yourself. Rubber tiles and mats start at around $2.50 per square foot. If you want a professionally installed epoxy floor, expect the price to be somewhere in between one and two thousand dollars for an average-sized single car garage. Flooring for a garage conversion will vary depending on the material you choose, but should be consistent with the price of having that material installed in any other area of the home.

Home Improvement

8 Basement Remodeling Essentials


One of the easiest ways to “add a new room or rooms” to your home is to better utilize the space you already have. Most basements are dark areas where we store seasonal decorations, old toys, sporting equipment and anything else not used on a regular basis.

But, perhaps it is time you reconsider how you use your basement? Basement finishing is a cost-effective way to greatly expand your home’s living space. Suddenly you could have a guest room, a children’s play room, a home office, a recreation room—the possibilities are only limited by your imagination.

Below are eight easy steps to basement finishing.

1. Solve Basement Water Problems First

Even if your basement rarely has problems with dampness or flooding, it’s best to solve the problem completely before beginning any remodeling work. A finished basement is only as good as the thoughts behind it and the quality of work that made it.

Permanent solutions can take time to implement. A good place to start is to talk to an independent home inspector who specializes in basement or foundation waterproofing problems.

2. Decide on the Best Use of Your Basement

Consider using the space for activities for which typical basement characteristics offer natural advantages.

The lack of light is useful when setting up a home theater or a dark room. The isolation helps create a sound break for a play area, a teenager’s hangout or a place to practice a musical instrument.

Also, in basements, there is usually ready access to things like water lines and heating and cooling ducts. This makes adding a bath easier than it would be elsewhere in the house.

3. Get Help with Your Basement Design

While your basement may not be much to look at now, you’ll want to end up with quality living space when the project is complete. An architect or interior designer can help you get the most out of the space. A little forethought and careful planning now can help you create a space that is attractive, comfortable and useful.


4. Pay Attention to Air Circulation

When your home was first built, the odds are that there were few if any registers or vents installed in the basement. When you remodel your basement, you need to think about the need for good air circulation, adding openings where necessary.

You’ll also have to include a return air duct, but it’s important that it be located far from the furnace. Otherwise, it may suck dangerous furnace exhaust fumes back into the house.

To be on the safe side, install a carbon monoxide detector in your basement so that you’ll have an early warning of any problems with the venting of the furnace or any other major appliances.

5. Maximize Your Basement’s Natural Light

For many reasons, you’ll probably want to add more light in your basement. If parts of the basement extend above the ground, you can add new windows or enlarge existing ones. If that isn’t possible, another option is to dig window wells. Window wells can increase the odds of water problems, so it’s a good idea to build ones with waterproof covers.

Another advantage of enlarged windows is that they provide alternative escape routes in case of fire. One concern that some people have about basement windows is that they provide thieves with ideal access to the home. One way to mitigate that risk is to install glass bricks (rather than conventional windows) at high-risk locations.

Maximize the effect of regular windows by mounting some windows in the interior walls between rooms that open pathways for natural light to reach interior rooms.

6. Make Creative Use of Artificial Light

Typically, basement ceilings are low, creating the feeling that you’re in a cave. To offset this, use indirect lighting that splashes large pools of light on the ceiling. This will open up the space and make rooms appear higher than they are.

A mix of this up-lighting and traditional recessed lighting will give you the flexibility you need to create a variety of lighting moods.

Mirrors, mounted on the walls or even ceilings, can also amplify and reinforce lighting effects.

7. Insulate Your Basement Well

Proper insulation is critical to creating a comfortable, dry basement.

Besides keeping out the cold, basement insulation prevents condensation. The ground stays cool year round. It in turn keeps basement walls cool. When the warmer air in the room comes in contact with all those cool walls, it has to give up some of its moisture in the form of condensation.

Condensation is, in fact, the primary source of the moisture that causes mold and mildew problems in basements. Effective insulation separates the warm air of the room from the cool walls, thereby preventing the moisture problems that stem from condensation.

8. Select Practical Furnishings

Use plush carpets and drapes sparingly, if at all. Surfaces that don’t absorb moisture are best. Also, be careful about storing clothes, linens and books in a basement.

For floors, area rugs are ideal because they can be removed, cleaned and dried. If you must have wall-to-wall carpeting, consider a low pile commercial or indoor/outdoor type.

If you pay attention to details, there is no reason why you can’t create high value, high comfort living space in a basement. Properly finishing a basement only costs a fraction of what it costs to build an addition. That means you’ll have more money in your pocket for the next big home improvement project on your list!

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Home Improvement

Improve Your Home: 3 Weekend Projects

Spiff up every space in your home.

Install Beaded Board
1Beaded board lends a traditional touch to kitchens and bathrooms. Cut holes in the boards or sheets for outlets, phone jacks, and other wall necessities. For a modern take on beaded board, try wider plank paneling, which dresses up the island in this fresh kitchen.



Add Storage to Your Entry
2If a traditional entry closet or a beautiful built-in shelving system is not an option in your home, refashioned furniture can achieve a look that’s equally stylish and storage-savvy. This small-scale table is a perfect size for beside the front door. Though compact, the table’s drawers and shelf make the piece super functional for busy drop-zone items. A wall-mount shelf above the table hangs keys within easy reach.


Make Your Entrance Inviting
3A cheery front-door color and a touch of landscaping can do wonders for your home’s curb appeal — and make a lasting impression on guests. Dress the door with new hardware, and add a welcome mat and potted plants near the entrance. Consider installing outdoor lighting to enhance your home’s architecture and illuminate the walkway.

Home Improvement

3 Great Patio Ideas

If you’re looking for ideas to spruce up your patio, check out these tips.

Make it Soothing with Water
1There’s something about water that’s serene and peaceful. Be sure to add it to your patio. Enhance those relaxing moments with a patio-size water garden. Find one with a small recirculating pump so you can enjoy the sound of water trickling over stones or through a bamboo spout.




Site it in the Shade
2Have a large shade tree? Why not consider building your patio under its canopy? You’ll enjoy the cool, shady retreat in the heat of summer when you need a quick break from your afternoon gardening chores. You can also plant your favorite shade plants, such as hostas and caladiums, around your patio for summer-long color and interest.



Plant a Fragrant Path
3Don’t forget the power of fragrance. When you’re relaxing on the patio at the end of the day, enjoy a rich aroma or subtle perfume. Consider planting a fragrant path that leads up to the patio from the garden. Tall, arching stalks of flowering tobacco (Nicotiana sylvestris) or licorice-scented sprays of hyssop (Agastache rupestris) could greet you alongside a small trellis with moonflowers (Ipomoea alba). This combination will create a “scentsational” experience for you and your guests.