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5 Ways to Prepare for Excavations on Your Property

Clearing large amounts of land on your property can be more easily done when you rent an excavator instead of using a shovel. Just be sure that you take the time to prepare yourself for the upcoming project by doing these five things first.

Have a Consultation with the Rental Company

Even if you have some experience using an excavator, be aware that you might require a different kind of excavator for each project. Having a representative from the excavator rental company walk around with you can give you the guidance you need to choose a suitable machine for your needs.

Ask About Required Permits

Before the machine even arrives at your house, it’s smart to drive or walk over to the permits office in your city or township. They might require you to complete an application for the excavation work you’re hoping to do. It is tempting to ignore this task, but doing so can ultimately lead to fines you’ll be responsible for.

Call Utility Companies

To make sure that you don’t hit an underground cable belonging to your electric company or any other hidden utility lines, call the companies directly. They will have someone mark any underground lines so you can keep the machine away from them.

Use a Pipe Locator

Underground utility lines aren’t the only thing you’ll have to worry about when you are ready to dig with an excavator. You will also need to have a pipe locator in hand to look for any signs that your plumbing pipes are in the area you need to dig. If you don’t do this vital check, you could very well hit one of the pipes that lead into your house, and that could cause big problems for your family. Purchasing a pipe locator can be rather costly, so you might want to rent one or speak to a contractor in the area about doing this task.

Mark Your Path with Chalk or Flags

When you’re in the excavator itself and ready to start digging, it’s not enough to have a vague idea of where you want to dig if you hope to avoid disturbing more soil than necessary. To be sure that you’re only digging within a certain area, outline the space with spray chalk or use flags to mark the path.

With these tips, you should be more than ready to use your rented excavator to move soil for your particular project. If you want the job done with professional skill, talk more with local contractors such as Spearhead Locating Services Inc. about how they can do some or all of this work for you.

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Choosing The Right Upgrades For Your Bathroom Remodel

You’ve set your budget for a bathroom remodel. It’s certain you’ve thought of the big issues you want to tackle, such as opening up the floor plan or adding storage. However, your budget may include enough for an upgrade or two. How do you know which upgrades are worth the splurge? Choose upgrades that best complement your lifestyle and your décor.

Walk-In Shower

The common configuration for most bathrooms has been a bathtub and shower combination. However, many homeowners are separating the two in the master bathroom. This gives you several advantages. For one, you can choose a rimless shower enclosure that conforms to universal design, thus making entrance to the shower easy for everyone. Secondly, such enclosures are typically made of glass. Glass doesn’t obscure sightlines and even reflects light back into the room, giving it an airy ambience. A walk-in shower also allows you to expand the shower space for two bathers and even added seating.

Stand-alone Bathtub

If you’re opting for the walk-in shower, you may choose to omit a bathtub altogether. However, a soak can be a relaxing treat after a long day or hard workout. You can choose to add a stand-alone tub to your bathroom design. Typically, stand-alone tubs come in the classic claw-foot style, shaped like a slipper for easy reclining or as a Japanese soaking tub, which allows for total submersion. Stand-alone tubs also make a striking architectural statement in your bathroom, especially if you set one up against a deliberate backdrop. This could be a window, an empty wall or even a living wall.

Radiant Floor Heating

Something you don’t see can still be a worthy upgrade – radiant floor heating. Indeed, This Old House points out that its invisible profile makes it “the best heating system” for your space. With this kind of system, the heat comes from either hot water tubing or electrical wires buried in the floor. When turned on, heat radiates from the floor and even warms up the objects in the room. This is luxurious in a bathroom since you’re usually barefoot – or bare all over. With radiant floor heating, you don’t have any cold spots. As the site points out, electric radiant heating is more common for remodel jobs since it’s easier to install.

Natural Stone Countertops

On the flip side, natural stone countertops are all about looks. You can choose classic granite, upscale marble or one of the less common stones, such as limestone or slate. Natural stone vanity tops fit most any décor style – it’s simply a matter of matching the color. Such countertops are ideal if you want a showroom of a master bathroom. However, natural stone is also very durable and requires almost no maintenance, making it practical as well.

Choose the kind of bathing, heating and overall look you want for your master bathroom remodel when you consider possible upgrades. For assistance, talk to a professional like Two by Four Construction LLC.

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Need Easier Access to Your Yard? 3 Tips for Choosing a Fencing Gate

Getting fencing installed around your property can be tough, especially when you’re concerned about how you’ll be able to get in and out of your yard from the outside. If you spend a lot of time in the front and back of your home and only want fencing installed in the back, you need to make sure that any installed fencing is still easy to get around. The best way to do this is by getting a fencing gate installed.

If you’re uncertain of what the differences are in fencing gates and want to make the best purchase possible, consider some of the following tips so that the purchased gate can work well for your home.

Capable of Being Locked for Security

When picking out a gate for your yard, you want to make sure that you’re not sacrificing security. Since you likely have the fencing installed in part to make your home more secure, you need to make sure that the fencing gate is equally difficult to get through. When you’re concerned that security may be an issue after getting a fence and gate installed, you need to set aside some time to make sure that the lock isn’t easily accessible.

Gate Swings Open Wide to Allow in Items

As you look into what steps you should take toward getting a fencing gate installed, you need to keep in mind that you’re going to be going in and out of your yard pretty frequently. What this means is that you need a gate that can swing open widely enough to accommodate your needs. This can be especially true if you plan to do any landscaping work in the future and plan to bring in heavy items from the front yard.

Instead of having to tear down part of the fence to make room, you can have a gate that swings open wide so that things can move in and out without a problem.

Matches the Style and Height of Your Fence

Before choosing a fencing gate, you need to keep in mind the importance of style. Many people make the mistake of choosing a fencing gate that is in their price range and offers the security that they want but don’t take into consideration how the gate looks. If you want the new fencing gate to fit right in and look like it was installed at the same time as the fencing, you need to make sure that it matches the height of the fence and will have a similar style.

Taking your time when purchasing a fencing gate can make all the difference in the final look and provide you with the features that are important to you. Talk to a company like Rut Fencing for more information. 

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New Restaurant Owner With A Leaky Grease Trap? It’s Probably The Crossover Pipe

If your grease trap leaks dirty water all over your kitchen floor, you may wonder if you have a damaged plumbing pipe somewhere in your restaurant. Although clogged plumbing pipes can affect the performance of grease traps, they may not always be the reason traps leak. The clog may actually be inside your trap’s crossover pipe. Here’s more things to know about a clogged crossover pipe and what you can do to stop it from leaking.

How Can the Crossover Pipe Clog Up?

Grease traps use three piping systems to receive, separate, and dispose of your kitchen’s wastewater, including an inlet pipe and crossover pipe. The inlet pipe connected to the first compartment of the trap receives fat, oils and grease, or FOG, from your kitchen’s sinks and dishwashers. After wastewater leaves the inlet pipe, it travels through a line of baffles that separate the solid waste from the water. The clean liquid then passes into a small valve leading to a crossover pipe, which sits in the very center of the trap.

If fat, oil or grease accidentally enters the crossover pipe, it can clog up. The clog causes water to back up inside the first compartment until it leaks. Greasy water can drip onto the flooring around the grease trap, which can be dangerous if it causes someone to slip and fall. Taking steps to fix your leaky trap is essential for the safety of your employees and restaurant.

What Can You Do About Your Leaky Grease Trap?

The thing you may do is block off the grease trap and wet flooring with large cones, then clean up as much greasy water as you can with a commercial de-greaser. These are only temporary measures until you have your grease trap checked. You may need to de-grease the flooring several times in order to keep it reasonably safe. Next, contact a contractor to unclog the crossover pipe and clean out the trap. 

A contractor will most likely drain the water from the trap before unclogging the pipe. This step may take some time to do, especially if the trap contains a lot of water and FOG. The next step is to remove all signs of FOG from inside the trap and baffles with a scraping tool. The final step is to unclog the crossover pipe with a de-greaser or cleaning tools. 

You can keep your crossover pipe clear by having your grease trap cleaned and inspected regularly. A contractor can discuss the best schedule for your trap during services. 

For more information about your grease trap, contact a contractor like those found at Forrest Sewer Pump Service today.

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Kitchen Remodeling Choices That Can Boost The Value Of Your Home

If you can’t decide which room in your home you would like to upgrade first, the kitchen is usually the best bet. Upgrading your kitchen will do more to increase the value of your home than any other renovation. If the kitchen feels outdated, the home buyer is going to feel that he or she is going to have to spend thousands of dollars to renovate the kitchen, even if a kitchen remodeling could actually be much more affordable. A rule of thumb is to spend 25% of the home’s value on improving your kitchen.

Experiment With Different Paint Colors

The first step should be to determine what paint color would work the best for your kitchen. Bring home different paint samples to experiment with until you find the color that will make your kitchen the most beautiful it can be.

Add New Tile

Add brand new tile, which is much more attractive. Tiles are not difficult to lay down and classes are taught at home improvement stores on how to lay them down effectively.

Replace Outdated Fixtures

There are fortunately many replacements that can be made very cheaply. Light fixtures can be updated to look brighter. Faucet sets can be replaced. Cabinet door handles can be replaced. Each of these changes can cost less than a thousand dollars while making an outdated kitchen look new again. 

Add Stainless Steel Appliances

Add stainless steel. It looks more modern and is very popular among home buyers. As each appliance wears out, replace it with a stainless steel one.

Go Traditional

If you intend to sell your home in the future, try to make your kitchen look traditional. Add all-wood cabinets. The floor should be made from stone or wood. Add stone countertops. The more natural and traditional the kitchen looks, the more appealing it will be.

Talk To A Kitchen Remodeling Specialist

While you should definitely remodel your kitchen, you do not have to have a perfect kitchen. Think about how your kitchen compares with the rest of your home and with how your kitchen will compare with kitchens in other homes in your neighborhood. Consider whether the typical buyer in your area would pay extra for a home with a deluxe kitchen. If you are not sure of what kitchen remodeling options might work the best, consider consulting with an interior designer, realtor or a kitchen remodeling specialist to determine which modifications might be the best investment. Contact a company like Luxcucina to get started.

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Common Ways That Trees Damage Houses

Having large trees in your yard has its benefits. In addition to being aesthetically pleasing, they provide shade for your yard and house. However, it’s possible for trees to damage your home as well. So, it’s important for you to know how trees can be damaging to a house and whether the trees in your yard pose a risk.

Falling Trees and Branches

Sometimes, trees fall. If you have a tree that’s dying, it may eventually fall on its own. However, bad storms can also cause trees to break, high winds may uproot trees, and heavy snow or ice could cause tree branches to come crashing down. If a tree falls on your home, it could cause a lot of damage to your house. So, it’s important to have the trees in your yard assessed by a professional from time to time. If you’re worried about a tree’s health or think that it may not be able to withstand a big storm, you should consider hiring a tree service company to assess the risk and remove the tree if needed.

Tree Roots

While tree roots grow slowly, they can become quite large. After all, they are continually searching for a source of nutrients and water for the tree. They might need to extend pretty far. If tree roots are growing near or through something, such as a concrete walkway, sewer pipes, or your home’s foundation, the pressure they apply can cause a good amount of damage.

The good new is, tree roots won’t directly damage your home’s foundation. However, they can cause the soil that your house is sitting on to become displaced, which, in turn, results in the foundation to your home shifting. The same thing happens with concrete walkways. If the soil underneath the walkways becomes displaced, it might cause small cracks in the concrete or lifting. Unfortunately, your home’s sewage system can be damaged by tree roots. Small tree roots can grow in the small holes in the plumbing. As they grow, they become large enough to completely block the pipes, which can cause sewage to backup into your house if it isn’t caught soon enough. So, if you have large trees growing close enough to the pipes in the ground, your foundation, or concrete, you might want to consider whether or not the tree roots pose a risk to determine if you should keep the tree or have it removed.

Swaying Branches

If you have a tree that’s close enough to your house that its branches scrape against the windows when they move, you should consider calling a tree service company to have the branches trimmed back. Overgrown branches near windows could end up breaking the window glass if the wind gets strong enough. Also, trees with branches growing near electrical lines need to trimmed regularly so that they don’t catch fire.

Not all trees are large or close enough to cause damage to your home. However, if you’re concerned about a nearby tree, you should have the situation assessed by a professional like one from Smitty’s Tree Service Inc as soon as possible.    

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Earthquake and tornadoes were my biggest fear as a child. They still in someways are, but as I'm building more and more homes, I've begun learning about the different safety measures that are incorporated with the architectural designing. I think it's good to know where the best places to stand are in case of the natural disaster, and which places to avoid. As I've done research I've learned how glass can shatter and much further then what I thought –which has helped me mentally prepare myself to stay away from windows. I think the best way to be prepared for anything is to become educated on it, which is why I'm maintaining this site.