Liven Up with DIY Kitchen Decor

Liven Up with DIY Kitchen Decor

It’s a new season and you know what that means. It’s time to freshen up your decor. Out with the old and in with the new!

Redecorating can be expensive, and you won’t always get things exactly how you want them. Why not personalize your space with your own handiwork?

DIY-ing can be a fun activity with family and friends and you end up with cool crafts that you can use to decorate your space!

If you’re looking for some “do it yourself” style for the kitchen, you’re in the right place. Keep reading for some DIY kitchen decor ideas that we’ve been loving this season.

Make a Shadowbox

A shadowbox is a great way to combine your favorite photos and objects into one cool piece of decor.

Kitchens have limited wall space, so you want to make the space that you have really count.

Combine some of your favorite memories, some cool trinkets, and back it with either simple matting or your favorite decorative photos.

If you’re not a photographer, finding photos online that work with your box is a great choice. Check out photographers like Garsha18 Photography or plenty of cool artists on sites like Flickr for inspiration.

Do Some Embroidery

There’s something so rustic about embroidery circles hanging on a kitchen wall. If you love the farmhouse look, consider this DIY kitchen wall decor.

Embroidery can take a bit of practice, but there are plenty of patterns to practice and display. You’ll feel great after learning a new skill and using it to decorate your space. Embroidery looks sweet and you can make any design you want to suit your needs.

We like the look of several embroidery circles hanging in a vertical line in the more narrow spaces of your wall that are hard to fill!

Create Your Own DIY Menu Board

Are you the house chef? You might need a menu board to really make it official.

There are plenty of expensive menu boards on furniture sites, but why not make yours truly unique by putting it together yourself?

Be creative. The basic components that you’ll need are:

  • A large picture frame
  • A chalkboard that fits within the picture frame
  • A small cup or box that matches the frame
  • Some kind of adhesive to secure these things together
  • Chalk

Combine all of these components, throw some chalk into the chalk-holder and start writing down your weekly meal plans.

Label Your Things!

Do you ever get jealous of people who have those cute matching labeled spice jars and utensil holders?

Why not make some of your own? Go pick up some matching jars and start your labeling!

You can DIY your labels either with a sticker-making company or on your own if you want to go a little more low-tech. You can even use chalkboard paint on your jars and write your labels out. This is great for anyone who cycles through different products and doesn’t want to keep remaking labels!

DIY Kitchen Decor Is Easy and Fun!

If your kitchen is feeling a little bit stale, try some DIY kitchen decor crafts to brighten it up. These are great rainy day activities and you’ll feel accomplished when you’re done.

For more DIY home decor ideas, visit the rest of our site!

How Often Should You Replace a Roof?

How Often Should You Replace a Roof?

Did you know that roof replacement can cost anywhere between $3,000 and $12,000?

Those estimates are just for your roof though. If there’s a need to remove your old roofing materials and damage to the interior of your home, you can expect to spend more.

The good news is if your roof is well-maintained, you might be able to avoid costly repairs or replacement. If you’re lucky, you don’t even have to ask how often should you replace a roof.

But what if you’re not quite sure about your roof’s condition? What if you have every reason to be worried about the roof replacement costs?

Let’s talk about the lifespan of common roofing materials, plus some red flags to watch out for.

Is It Every Decade? How Often Should You Replace a Roof?

Some roofing materials can last more than 50 years. These include slate, copper, and tile roofs.

Wood shake roofs, on the other hand, can last about 30 years, while fiberglass composition roofs have a life expectancy of about 20 years. One of the most common types of roofing material sold today, asphalt shingles can hold up for up to 3 decades, which is about the same with architectural shingles.

As for metal roofs, high-quality options can last up to 70 years. If you went for the cheaper option though, it’s okay. As long as it’s maintained properly and barring extreme weather conditions, it’s good for at least 20 years.

Now, keep in mind that any type of roof will fail if the installation isn’t good or if a heavy object like a tree falls on it. Other factors that affect the lifespan of your roof include poor insulation and ventilation and having the wrong pitch or angle. Sun exposure, as well as the wrong choice of roofing material for the climate in your area, will also affect how often you need to replace your roof.

Roof Replacement Red Flags

So now you know the answer to, “how long do roofs last?” Next, you need to know what red flags to look out for to take the guesswork out of when to replace roofing.

These include damaged shingles, cracks, or breaks in your roof’s flashing, a droopy, sagging roof, etc. You’ll also want to check if there’s moss in your roof. If they’re growing on your roof, it means there’s trapped moisture, which is one of your roof’s worst enemies.

You can use a stiff brush to get rid of these unwanted houseplants, or you can get in touch with a roofing contractor. It’s a good idea to have your roof inspected twice a year because you want to spot problems before they become a huge headache for you later on. Just make sure you don’t entertain any shady contractors and do your best to avoid these roofing scams.

Do You Need to Have Your Roof Replaced?

Now that you know the answer to “how often should you replace a roof?” consider if your roof can be saved with repairs. If it’s unsalvageable, however, don’t delay the process. Call a reliable roofer right away to avoid further damages to your home.

For more roofing tips and advice, feel free to check out our other posts.

Putting Your Style into Your Home Bedroom

Putting Your Style into Your Home Bedroom

When considering renovations for your home, start with your bedroom, the perfect place to show your style with new blankets, throws and duvet covers

Choose the Right Mattress

According to the Sleep Foundation, getting enough sleep starts with choosing the right mattress. This can be difficult if you have different requirements than your partner. However, shopping together can ensure you choose a mattress with enough support and comfort for both of you. Mattress pads and luxury linens can turn your bed into an inviting retreat. 

Create a Reading Nook

If you are short on space, creating a bay window lets in extra sunlight and gives you room for a cozy reading nook. For larger bedrooms, use bright sofas or plump chairs in neutral colors to add your personal touch to a room that currently exudes your partner’s personality. 

Shop for Bedroom Wine Cooling Units

A newly passed bill — House Bill 157 — allows Utah homeowners to order from wine of the month clubs. This makes it easier than ever to build up your wine collection. Granted, the wine is first delivered to the state’s Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. However, the law also allows you to bring up to nine liters of alcohol back from trips to other states or foreign countries. 

Before you plan out a road trip to Napa Valley, consider where you’ll store your wine to keep it fresh until you’re ready to pop the cork. Here are a few ideas to incorporate a wine cooling unit in your bedroom:

  • Convert a walk-in closet into 
  • Convert the spare bedroom into a wine cooling unit with seating for wine tasting with friends

When choosing between storage options that enhance the style of your bedroom, factor in the noise from the fan and exhaust and choose the best option for your home’s layout. Shop wine cooling units such as wooden racks in oak, cherry or walnut hues for your country-chic or sophisticated bedroom design. If your bedroom exudes an industrial or minimalist vibe, ultra-modern metal racking might do it justice. One of the most important decisions you make involves the cooling unit to use for your ultimate bedroom oasis with wine storage. 

Add Plenty of Storage

Store things out of sight to prevent clutter from creating a sense of anxiety in your bedroom. Organized spaces also appear larger. 

Here are a few ideas for easy bedroom storage extension:

  • Purchase roomy bedside tables with doors where you can hide lotion, books, glasses and slippers.
  • Invest in an attractive trunk or storage bench for extra blankets, sheets and pillows.
  • Use a headboard with shelves or sliding panels that can hide books and other belongings.

Do It Your Way

In other areas of the home, you have to consider the style of the whole family and ensure that guests will be comfortable. Your bedroom gives you the only opportunity you have to think only of your tastes and preferences. Use your imagination and the tips above for a truly personalized bedroom makeover.

A Homeowner’s Guide to Maintaining a Swimming Pool

A Homeowner’s Guide to Maintaining a Swimming Pool

Maintaining a swimming pool certainly isn’t for the faint of heart. It takes a lot of time, effort, and money to keep the pool in picture-worthy shape.

If you’re considering placing a pool in your backyard or have just installed one for the first time, then you’ll want to learn all you can about the basics of pool maintenance.

Doing so can put you ahead of the curve in terms of making rookie mistakes with your pool care.

Be sure to see below for several tips on how to maintain a pool all summer long. Be sure to consider them all as you prepare for the lengthy, yet rewarding road ahead.

1. Battle Debris Every Day

Debris in your pool can spell disaster. It can clog your pool and, quite frankly, just makes it look bad. However, don’t allow yourself to get frustrated. Debris is something that all pool owners battle daily.

The trick is to rid your pool of the debris each day, rather than letting it pile up in between weekly pool cleaning sessions.

For those of you that don’t have a pool yet, be sure to place your pool out from under any trees. Doing so will help you control the number of leaves, twigs, and branches that fall in the water.

Be sure to dispose of your debris properly so that it doesn’t find its way back into your pool once more.

2. Open Your Pool Correctly

There’s a strict process that you should follow for how to open a pool each spring to ensure a safe and successful reopening.

It involves things like cleaning the pool deck, safely removing the pool cover, and finding the right water level for your family to enjoy. Then, of course, there’s the task of shocking the pool, achieving the right chlorine levels, etc.

The most important thing is making sure to have an extra set of hands while you reopen the pool. Things like removing the pool cover become much easier when there are several people to help out.

3. Wash the Interior Often

It doesn’t matter whether you have an inground pool or an above-ground pool, you must put an emphasis on maintaining the integrity of your pool interior. If you ignore it, there can be black algae growth that will make your pool unsafe for swimming.

Every week or so, be sure to commit yourself to get inside the pool and scrubbing away at the walls. If you have an in-ground pool, then be sure to get into the tiny crevices between your tile walls.

The more active you are about maintaining the health of your interior, the less chance there will be for black algae growth. Once it starts, you’ll need to contact a professional to rid your pool of it.

4. Constantly Check Pool Chemistry Levels

One of the most tedious parts of owning a pool is making sure that the chemistry levels stay where they need to be. Lucky for you, there are test strips that allow you to quickly test the chemistry levels.

After the strip gives you results, you can make adjustments and pour in more or less chlorine into your pool as needed.

The test will show you the results of your pH levels, which you should aim to keep somewhere between 7.2 and 7.8. The higher your pH levels rise, the more chlorine you’ll need in your pool. The lower they are, the less chlorine you’ll need.

Chlorine is the main solution in your pool that’s responsible for killing away the bacteria that likes to congregate in bodies of water. If it’s too high, then your water is less safe for people to swim in.

5. Vacuum the Pool Yourself

Yes, there are vacuuming tools that you can purchase that will clean the pool without you having to control it. No, this does not take the place of you having to clean it for yourself.

To do an effective pool cleaning, you need to dedicate 30-minutes or more (depending on the size of your pool) to vacuuming by hand. You simply wash the pool in straight lines, going back and forth as you work your way down.

It’s important to remember that your hose should always stay below the water. If it rises to the top and starts to float, it means that there’s air trapped inside due to a hole or the filter needing to be cleaned.

6. Don’t Forget the Skimmer Basket

The skimmer basket is used to collect all the debris that floats on the surface of your water and collect it.  However, for it to work as effectively as possible, you need to clean it out often.

Start by taking it out and removing all of the contents that you see inside via a trash can. This will ensure the debris doesn’t find its way back in.

Anytime that you open it and see that there are a few items inside, clean it. You want the skimmer to be almost completely void of debris for it to work effectively.

How to Maintain a Pool: Diligence and Effort

Now that you’ve seen several tips on how to maintain a pool, be sure to use these maintenance tips to your advantage.

Make sure to consider which areas you haven’t been giving as much attention to, and start there.

Also be sure to browse our website for more articles on pool care, as well as many other helpful topics.

How Often Should You Change Your Air Filter? The Complete Guide

How Often Should You Change Your Air Filter? The Complete Guide

Want to lower your electricity bill? Move to Louisiana!

A recent study shows that Louisianians pay less for electricity than any other state. On the other end of the scale, residents of Connecticut, Alaska, and Hawai, have the highest electricity costs.

Luckily, you don’t have to move to start saving on your energy bill. By properly maintaining your HVAC system, you’ll be able to save on your energy bill. A great place to start is by regularly changing your air filter.

How often should you change your air filter? Read on to find out!

How Often Should You Change Your Air Filter?

Not everyone will have the same time frame for changing the air filter. Instead, the frequency you change your air filter will depend on your lifestyle and a couple of other variables.

Here are a few air filter changing timeline variables:

  • Do you have pets?
  • Do any household members have allergies?
  • Do you live in a polluted area?
  • Do you live in a dusty area?
  • Do you use your AC a lot?

How often should you change your air filter? If you answered yes to any of the questions below, you want to change your air filter at least every 3 weeks. However, if you find yourself saying no it’s the most of the answers above, you could get away with waiting 3 months to change your air filter.

For instance, let’s say someone lives by themself, rarely uses their AC, and doesn’t have any pets. They could get away with changing their air filter every 90 days.

However, if you added a dog or cat to the equation, they’d want to change their air filter every 60 days. If there are multiple pets, or someone in the household has allergies, the 3-week time frame is your safest bet.

Power of a Clean Air Filter

On top of filtering out tiny things like dust, your air filter also protects you from larger items that could damage your home. For example, let’s say a piece of your insulation became loose. Your air filter would be able to catch it and prevent it from causing presenting a fire risk.

Air Filter Tips for Parents

Studies show children enter the world with zero immunity to the hundreds of cold-causing viruses. Keeping the air filter fresh will help protect your child’s ability to breathe, and stay healthy.

Dangers of a Dirty Air Filter

A dirty air filter can do more harm than good.

Here are a few dangers of a dirty air filter:

  • Your air conditioning fan has to work harder
  • The entire house doesn’t cool off as much as that could
  • Your cooling system overheats
  • Household sickness because of mold are bacteria

When an air filter becomes dirty, it also becomes denser. The denser air filter is full of mold, dust, and everything that the filter was able to catch.

The density of the air filter makes it difficult for your air to flow freely in your home. You can learn more about the dangers by checking out this article from coloradoheatingcooling.com.

How to Easily Change Your Air Filter

Now that you know more about how often to replace an air filter, and what happens if you don’t, you’re probably ready to put a clean filter in right now! However, before you start moving things around, make sure you’re certain you know every step you need to take. Here are the steps to follow when replacing your air filter:

  1. Find the location of your air filter
  2. Buy the right-sized air filter
  3. Align filter with placement arrows

The number of air filters, and location they’re in, vary from house to house.

Replacing Air Filter in Return Air Duct

To change your central air conditioner filter, you’ll need to access the return air duct. Begin by unhooking the latch that covers the grille. Next, wipe the grill clean, until there’s no longer any dust visible.

We find that using a microfiber cloth makes cleaning between the slates easier. To get in between the slates, try putting the microfiber cloth over the top of a butter knife. Now, you’ll be able to reach deeper in between the grille’s slates to remove the built-up dust.

After the grille is clean, you’re ready to place the new air filter into place. Removing the old filter, place the new one while paying attention to the arrow’s direction. The majority of filters will have an arrow printed on them.

The arrow lets you know what way the filter needs to face to help the furnace filter the airflow. When you’re putting the air filter in the right way, the arrow will point towards the furnace. If you put the filter in backward, the arrow will be pointing towards you.

A backward air filter won’t work efficiently and can strain the fan. Once you’re sure you have the filter facing the right direction, go ahead and set it into place. Now all you need to do is close the grille and secure the grille’s latch.

Air Filter Ratings

When you’re buying an air filter look at the packaging to find the Maximum Efficiency Reporting Value or MERV rating. The MERV rating lets you know how efficient the filter is at cleaning the air in your home. Air filters with high MERV ratings will be able to grab the smallest of particles.

Signs Your Air Filter Isn’t Working

Let’s say you go to change your air filter, but when you remove the old one it doesn’t look dirty. When an old air filter looks clean, it’s a red flag that something’s not working right.

Do you suspect your air filter isn’t working properly?

Check these things to find out:

  • Does the air filter too loose?
  • Is the air filter upside down?
  • Is the air filter backward?
  • Is the MERV rating too low?

Double checking that your air filter has the proper placement and MERV rating, will help you save the most energy.

Be a Smart Homeowner

How often should you change your air filter? Now you know the answer varies by household.

By keeping up with your filter changes, you’ll be taking the best care of your home. For more ways to be a smart homeowner, check out the rest of this site.

How Often Should You Change Your Air Filter?